Thursday, 17 September 2009

One EskimO - One Eskimo

image This is the review of a nice, average band; with a nice, average home in a nice, average town. At least, that's what I imagine it to be.

Because, as the introduction to Hometime tells us, that's the story behind "All Balloons", the provisional title for One EskimO's debut album which is now set to be a self-titled number.

I first talked about One EskimO back in June, and have been listening to the album fairly regularly since then general release having been sadly delayed on several occasions until now, finally, next Monday (available for pre-order at all usual places), together with the extra "Givin' Up". They really are my band of the moment - but a bit of further background first, courtesy of the review from one such "usual place":

One eskimO's striking sound and presentation can be traced back to 2004, when [singer/songwriter Kristian] Leontiou first hit the UK Top 10 with his solo debut single, 'Story Of My Life.' His album, entitled 'Some Day Soon,' proved equally successful, selling more than 200,000 copies and catapulting the soulful young singer to pop success. But, the experience left the gifted young vocalist strangely unfulfilled, as if he were merely a spoke in the great wheel of music industry marketing.


So, Leontiou set to do something different. And with Adam Falkner (drums), Pete Rinaldi (guitar) and Jamie Sefton (bass and horns) he set out to create a band that doesn't require him to be in the spotlight, the central instead being one eskimo (with a band of a penguin, giraffe, and monkey). As Leontiou told the Guardian back in 2007:

"I wanted to create a sound of my own: magical, ambient, filmic, acoustic, beautiful and meaningful. I wanted to write about how I felt about life, love, losses and failures, highs and lows, even heartbreaks. But also about how amazing human life is and how mind-blowing our very existence is."

-The Guardian

And that's the definite mood behind the album. Moody and very lyrical, expressive and touching upon a huge variety of issues that affect daily life. The tracks themselves have got comparitively basic tunes and rhythms, but the intricate electronic textures took a year to finalise the album - with Rollo Armstrong producing.

With the perhaps rough and ready animation, the "childlike innocence" that Leontiou said he wanted to create is there.

Stand out tracks have to be Kandi (sampling Candi Staton's He called me baby), the powerful (without being loud, raucous, or heavy) Chocolate, and the jazz Balloons (3 quite different ones there) - but it's difficult to actually pick out any. There genuinely are no bad tracks, and there is much to be said from treating the album as a whole and not individual tracks.

I'm gutted I missed that at V, but you can still catch them supporting Paulo Nutini over the next few weeks. I'll be looking for their own gigs, which are an inevitability, and am determined not to miss them again.

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