Eskimeaux Debuts Chinese Zodiac-Inspired 'WTF,' Explains 'X-Files' Meets 'Twin Peaks' Universe Theory

Eskimeaux 2016
Richard Gin


We’re living in the Year of the Monkey, but Brooklyn-based, D.I.Y.-minded rocker Gabrielle Smith (who records as Eskimeaux) has her mind on 2011, a.k.a. the Year of the Rabbit. That’s when she entered a highly fulfilling relationship (she describes it as “dope”) with her current partner Oliver Kalb, who plays in Eskimeaux and with Smith in Bellows. It’s also the title of her forthcoming mini-album, due April 15 on Double Double Whammy.   

“We have a pretty unique relationship because we’re in a bunch of bands together,” Smith tells Billboard. “But we tour sometimes separately, because I’m in Frankie Cosmos… We’ll sometimes have long times apart and it’s very therapeutic because it gives me perspective on how dope our relationship is.”

Indeed, it’s the sort of perspective that comes when you’re able to look back on a young relationship several years onward. Smith delved into that soothing time apart on her latest track, “WTF,” premiering below.

“Oliver and I have a lot of each other’s lyrics in each other’s songs and kind of write back and forth,” Smith says. “Sometimes Greta [Kline] will say something that’s really poignant to me in a Frankie Cosmos song and I’ll use that line to respond to it with my feelings attached… It happens with LVL UP, too. They have a bunch of Frankie Cosmos lyrics in their songs.”

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Smith’s lyrics come from small moments in her life -- “tiny melodramas” she calls them -- but she can be a big picture thinker, too.   

“I love when there’s a mini universe that gets created, through any art form. There’s this universe that expands from the X-Files to Twin Peaks and there’s all these different TV shows that nod to it. I love it when there’s a continuity throughout a catalog or a bunch of artists.”

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If you're looking for a portal into the Eskimeaux mini-universe, they’re touring with Frankie Cosmos and Yowler this April. It’s a full-band tour (Smith sometimes performs with just Kalb), which is appropriate since Year of the Rabbit is the first Eskimeaux release to feature a live band sound. Check out those dates below, along with the album art for Year of the Rabbit, which you can pre-order here.  

4/1 - Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium *
4/2 - Brooklyn, NY @ Shea Stadium *
4/3 - Washington, DC  @ DC9 *
4/4 - Richmond, VA @ Strange Matter *
4/5 - Chapel Hill, NC @ Kings *
4/6 - Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade (Purgatory) *
4/7 - Birmingham, AL @ Syndicate Lounge *
4/8 - New Orleans, LA @ Siberia *
4/10 - Austin, TX @ Sidewinder *
4/12 - Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf *
4/13 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge *
4/14 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo * ^
4/15 - San Diego, CA @ Che Café * ^
4/16 - San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall * ^
4/18 - Portland, OR @ Analog Theater * ^
4/20 - Seattle, WA @ Vera Project * ^
4/22 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Diabolical Records * ^
4/23 - Denver, CO @ Lost Lake * ^
4/25 - Minneapolis, MN @ 7th St Entry * ^
4/26 - Madison, WI @ High Noon * ^
4/27 - Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall * ^
4/28 - Cleveland, OH @ Mahall's * ^
4/29 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Mr. Roboto Project * ^
4/30 - Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church * ^

* with Frankie Cosmos
^ with Yowler


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