ABOVE: ESKIMEAUX. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANDREW PICCONE.
Beginning with an acoustic guitar and heartwarming voice, Brooklyn-based singer, songwriter, and producer Gabrielle Smith’s latest track “Sparrow” is one to put on repeat. After a few moments of peaceful strumming, the song, which is streaming exclusively below, builds with muted drums, bass, and sublte synths. Lyrically, “Sparrow” conveys the idea that no two people process their thoughts the same way.
“[My partner and I] were focused on everything but each other, and our feelings were manifesting in very different ways,” Smith explains. “Most of the time my lyrics are very literal, though sometimes it may not seem that way because they are directed at a specific person, who is sometimes myself.”
The moniker Eskimeaux, under which Smith creates her music, began as a solo project in 2007. From then until 2010, the musician relied heavily on herself and released experimental noise albums. In the past five years, however, she has further developed her sound, and with her upcoming full-length, O.K. (out May 12 via Double Double Whammy), she explores the realm of poetic and beat-driven pop, and introduces Oliver Kalb, Felix Walworth, and Jack Greenleaf to the band.
“A lot of my older songs and albums are heavily focused on remembering not to repeat bad behaviors that I noticed in myself and people I was surrounding myself with,” Smith explains. “The process of making this album was trying to pick out aspects that I like about myself and the way I treat my friends and family—remind myself that’s the right way to be, that these things are okay.”
Reflecting the fact that her music fluidly transitioned from experimental and EDM to expressing an inner peace, Smith writes best when in transit. She used to write on bus rides between Philadelphia and New York that she took four times a week. Once she moved to New York, the process continued on subway platforms, while walking her dog in the park, and in her tour van.
In addition to Eskimeaux, Smith is also a member of Frankie Cosmos and a founder of The Epoch, an art collective based in Brooklyn. When summing up her approach to music, she says, “Don’t be afraid to be right or wrong; each idea is your own personal experiment.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ESKIMEAUX, VISIT THE BAND’S FACEBOOK.