May 16, 2016

EP: Eskimeaux - Year of the Rabbit

Looking back on Eskimeaux's Year of the Rabbit.

Eskimeaux’s follow up to 2015’s O.K. dwells on the overlooked emotion that snuggles up with time and hindsight: acceptance. There’s lust, loss, hair-yanking frustration, but there aren’t enough albums that just say “Looking back on it, I was a kind psychopath, they were a kind psychopath, and it didn’t work out for those reasons.” It was what is was. Eskimeaux’s EP Year of the Rabbit, opens “2011, the year of the rabbit”, and with that line Gabrielle Smith takes us down that sadistically comical, often avoided, road of reflection. The title track reverently recollects the point when anxiety turns into subdued hysteria. Smith states “I am feeling good” just to interrupt herself with questioning “Are you mad? Are you mad? Are you mad? Are you mad? Trouble believing what you say you’re feeling. All you ever say is ‘good.’” She sings the lines feverishly and jovially, as she reminisces the moment when you’re grasping but are already past the point of no return.

Throughout Year of the Rabbit, Smith seems to be less concerned with coming up with clever phrasing so she doesn’t run the risk of creating euphemisms for messy feelings. On track two of the EP, Smith sings, “Your arms are filled with not me, but whatever. What the fuck is a kiss anyway?” It’s blunt. The poetry is in the timing. The ‘how’ and the ‘when’ things are said. An affectionate punch in the gut to all of the rest of us over-thinkers and anxious folks. A lot of lines that mirror things that were never said out loud, but thought on repeat. “Wish I could love you less like a praying mantis, rip your head off every time this starts to feel right,” is something most of us have definitely thought at some point. If you’re one of those people that’s been told you’re too emotional for your own good, Year of the Rabbit will contradict that statement and tell you it is good, it’s okay, it’s fine, it all is what it is anyway. If there is contentment, it probably exists somewhere in acceptance. Somewhere in submersing in your feelings without drowning in them. Being able to articulate what you have gone through is an art and a strength.

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Listen to Eskimeaux on bandcamp.

Written by Brooke Segarra