One eskimO, a four-piece band from London, is impossible to categorize (if you like to do that sort of thing with your music, and let’s face it, most of us do). What started as an indie rock/shoegaze sorta venture is now leaping over boundaries and even dipping into – gasp! – Top 40 radio territory. That’s mostly due to the breakthrough hit, “Kandi,” which samples Candi Staton’s “He Called Me Baby” in a terribly groovy way. However, with Gorillaz-esque animation that accompanies One eskimO’s self-titled debut album (out now on Shangri-La Music) and a tour schedule that stops at various music festivals across the U.S., One eskimO defies snap judgements.
Drummer Adam Falkner chatted with Speakers in Code about the band’s recent Daytrotter session, George Michael, and, of course, blueberries. And hey, if this band thing doesn’t work out, Falkner might want to consider comedy.
Watch the video for “Kandi”:
1. As I was researching the band online to develop these interview questions, I kept finding the same descriptions of your music: “ambient” and “mellow.” Do you find these adjectives accurate?
Yes, but that probably doesn’t describe the whole picture. We also have a lot of intense, passionate passages in our music and always try to approach everything soulfully, too.
2. I just listened to your Daytrotter session that you recently recorded. What was it like to strip down those soulful songs? Do you like the end result?
We love doing it like that, and we often play radio sessions in that way. It’s actually how we recorded our album, by playing the fundamentals live as a band, then adding the blanket of electronics afterwards. It’s really enjoyable when you’ve nothing to hide behind, and [it’s a] testament to whether your songs stand up on their own or not!
3. Ok, call me crazy but some of your songs really remind me of the early ’90s, solo George Michael sound. Am I crazy? If your actual sound was the spawn of any number of artists, who would those “parents” be? (And is one of them George Michael?)
We definitely view George Michael as a father figure. He gives us a lot of faith, and I don’t think I could dance again without his music. Last Christmas, I bought Jamie his new album, but he said it was too funky. He said he might give it another try…
4. You guys are playing the famous Blueberry Hill, monthly home of Chuck Berry, on June 15th. Have you visited Saint Louis before? What are you looking forward to on this stop?
We haven’t yet had the pleasure, so we’re looking forward to it. I’d like to sit and eat blueberries on Blueberry Hill, with no particular place to go. Full of antioxidants apparently (blueberries, not Chuck Berry)…
5. If you were stuck at the top of the Arch for forty-eight hours, what three albums would you listen to on repeat?
I think we’d all have different views on this, but for me personally, Hits by Joni Mitchell, Bitter by Me’shell Ndegéocello, and Sing To God Parts 1 & 2 by The Cardiacs. I wouldn’t want to be rescued!