Chillin' with Eskimeaux's Gabrielle Smith
by John Noyd
March 2016

Eskimeaux's Gabrielle Smitth

Eskimeaux's Gabrielle Smitth

Wrapped around unstoppable rock and unraveled in homespun dream-pop, lo-fi hospitality greets intimate whimsy in GABRIELLE SMITH’s approachable folk poetry. Her solo project ESKIMEAUX gently mesmerizes in coy joyrides whose occasionally dark detours shake one awake to face forked roads, close calls and near misses. Joining FRANKIE COSMO and YOWLER at Madison’s High Noon Saloon April 26th, the refreshingly perceptive chronicler took time from a busy SXSW schedule to answer a few questions about her songwriting process and her latest release, “Year of the Rabbit.”

MAXIMUM INK: What made you decide on an EP rather than hold off and release a full-length?

GABRIELLE SMITH: All of the songs on “Year of the Rabbit” were written during the recording process of our previous album “O.K.” So we (Double Double Whammy and I) figured by the time I had enough songs to broaden the collection into a full-length album and went through a whole album cycle (plus, at the time vinyl records were taking 8-12 months to get back from pressing plants), these songs, which felt really nice and fresh, would be pretty old! Instead, we thought it would be nice to make a short record, or an EP with no filler material. Plus, it gave us a chance to try a new release medium - a CD inside of a full-color photograph, hardcover book. So, that’s what went into the decision to make this specific EP.

MI: Did last year’s O.K.‘s critical acclaim shape the Year of the Rabbit at all?

GS: Not really! I mean, maybe it gave us the confidence to try out a new kind of release format.

MI: When you write a song, how much comes from the gut and how much from the head?

GS: I’m not really sure…I mean, it all comes from the head, maybe, and then the gut gets put into the performance of each song!

MI: I really like that. What part of the creative process is the most challenging for you?

GS: Having time to record. Most of my time is dedicated to having band practices, traveling to and playing shows, and writing emails. Lately, as well, I’ve added making a few music videos, making show posters, and being on the hunt for a new amp to the mix. So having time to record is definitely the most challenging part.

MI: Is there any artist or musical hero by which you judge your own writing?

GS: No way, that’s a terrible way to go about being an artist. My own art is the standard by which I judge my writing and that’s the way it should be!

MI: Will this be your first time playing Madison WI?

GS: Nope! One time, in 2013, we played at Bright Red Studios.

MI: What’s usually the first thing you do when you get a chance to take in a city you’re playing?

GS: Find tasty donuts 😊

There you have it, tweet, Facebook and Instagram Eskimeaux your favorite place for tasty donuts in Madison.

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CD: Year of the Rabbit Record Label: Double Double Whammy
Purchase Year of the Rabbit on Amazon
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