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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Tanya Tagaq at Kimmel Center, Sallie Ford at Johnny Brenda’s, Eskimeaux at Union Transfer and more…

tanya tagaq
Tanya Tagaq | photo via Facebook

Singer, songwriter and experimental multimedia artist Tanya Tagaq hails from Cambridge Bay in the north of Canada, and has developed a strong following over the past decade for a singular blend of Inuit throat singing, folk, electronic and sounds. She has collaborated with like-minded experimental pop artists Bjork and Mike Patton, released the acclaimed LP Retribution last year — it was one of World Cafe host Talia Schlanger’s top ten records of 2016. Tonight, Tagag performs at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, creating a live accompaniment to the 1922 silent film Nanook of the North. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar; watch a music video for her song “Uja” from 2014’s Animism LP below.
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Watch Japanese Breakfast and Eskimeaux chat and perform at the New York Times

Japanese Breakfast | photo by Zachary Chick | via Japanese Breakfast's Facebook page
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Zachary Chick | via Japanese Breakfast’s Facebook page

Over the holiday, Japanese Breakfasts Michelle Zauer got together with Eskimeaux‘s Gabrielle Smith to answer some questions and perform a few songs for the New York Times. Topics of discussion include favorite moments from their co-headlining acoustic tour, advice for DIY musicians, and favorite board game.  Continue reading →

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Indie pop queens Eskimeaux and Japanese Breakfast kick off joint solo tour in December

Japanese Breakfast
Japanese Breakfast | photo by Morgan Smith | phobymo.com | courtesy of the artist

Japanese Breakfast and Eskimeaux will team up for a tour starting this fall (and I couldn’t be more excited).

So far their are only five announced tour dates that will begin on December 14th and end on the 18th with a show on the 15th in Philly in the side chapel of the First Unitarian Church. Continue reading →

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Power Animal and Eskimeaux team up on “3 Months And a Week”

Power Animal | photo by Mac Whalen | via facebook.com/pwranml

Power Animal is a project we’ve come to know and love over the years, ever since Keith Hampson and his then-full band released People Songs back in 2010. Things have shifted a bit in the years since and now Hampson works primarily solo, but he still knows when to pull in collaborators that will enhance his textural electronic pop songs. The latest example of this is “3 Months And a Week” featuring Eskimeaux.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Eskimeaux at PhilaMOCA, Hurry at Rock Bottom, Brothers and Sisters at World Cafe Live

Eskimeaux | via eskimeaux.bandcamp.com
Eskimeaux | via eskimeaux.bandcamp.com

Eskimeaux is the onstage moniker of NYC’s Gabrielle Smith, who has collaborated with Philly’s Power Animal and this spring releases her full length O.K. The first single from the album, “Broken Necks,” shimmers with synthpop beats and emotive vocals akin to K Record favorite Mirah, with a bit of Magnetic Fields and The Blow in the mix. Joining Eskimeaux on the bill tonight at PhilaMOCA is like-minded Philadelphian Free Cake For Every Creature, as well as Told Slant and Crying. Tickets and more information on the show can be found here. Continue reading →

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Eskimeaux and Raindeer bringing futuristic winter vibes to JR’s Bar on 12/14

Philly’s Gabrielle Smith has the innate ability to immediately exile you to some remote cave on Eskimeaux‘s latest self-titled cassette.  With production by Benjamin Schurr, Eskimeaux is a dark, exquisite, wintery nightmare of an album that is brought to earth with Smith’s sublime vocalsThe Philadelphia duo will perform with Baltimore’s Raindeer alongside Pree and Young Rapids at JR’s Bar in South Philly on Friday, December 14th.  More information can be found on the event page here.  Below, stream “Untitled, Part I” and listen to the full album here.

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Listen to a new Eskimeaux track, “Trinkets” (playing Moviate on 11/13)

Kudos to The Deli for spotting this yesterday: Gabrielle Smith and Benjamin Schurr, formerly of Philadelphia’s Br’er, just released a single under their new experimental pop project, Eskimeaux. The haunting track, “Trinkets,” can be heard on the Prefix Magazine website here. “Trinkets” will be part of the duo’s forthcoming self-titled album, scheduled for release November 8th. The album is being released through the label Human Kindness Overflowing and will only cost $5.00, with $2.50 going towards meals for Philabundance while the remaining $2.50 is split between the artist and the label’s future contributions to charities. Eskimeaux will be playing at Moviate in Harrisburg November 13th; ticket and show information can be found here.

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Now Hear This: New songs by Kelela, Parquet Courts, Fever Ray, Alvarius B., Special Request, Circuit Des Yeux and more

Fever Ray | via facebook.com/FeverRay

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Much as I may pride myself on keeping my ears as wide open and omnivorous as possible, I’m often struck, as the time of reckoning draws nigh, that so much of the music that really affects me from any given year tends to fall into a few relatively narrow categories.  Looking back on the 2017 releases that I’ve spent the most time with and returned to most consistently, most of them can be sorted into two general buckets: emotionally resonant electronic pop made by (relatively young) women – Lorde, MUNA, Sylvan Esso, Kelly Lee Owens – or wordy, wide-ranging critical statements made by opinionated and perhaps over-analytical old (or at least aging) men: Randy Newman, Jens Lekman, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields.

Is there a throughline there?  I tend to think of it in terms of personality: if there’s one thing most likely to pique my interest in a new artist, or keep me engaged with a familiar one, it’s in their music’s ability to serve as a tool for human expression, straightforward or otherwise; a means of telegraphing a vivid and recognizable individual identity – whether that individual be a quote-unquote “real person,” a constructed persona or, as it surely is in the vast majority of cases, some ambiguous, unparseable intertwining of the two.  Perhaps that quality is more readily apparent in the second group of aforementioned artists.  It’s not that those verbose songmen are single-mindedly preoccupied with age and mortality – though it’s clearly on their minds (see: Newman’s heartwrenching “Lost Without You”; Murphy’s “tonite”; Lekman’s bouncy but pensive “Wedding in Finistère”; the entire conceit of Merritt’s 50 Song Memoir) but it certainly informs their outlook, helping to distill a clarity of perspective (and tendency toward warts-and-all honesty) translating into albums that function as poignant, if sometimes roundabout self-portraits.   Continue reading →