O is for One eskimO

One eskimONot too many bands are more unique and interesting than One eskimO. It is just too bad that we have not received more output from them. Back when I was reviewing albums for Stinkweeds the self-titled debut from this band was one of my contributions. Here is that review for you:

“The brainchild of Kristian Leontiou, One eskimO hails from London, England. The self-titled full-length debut from this four-piece band is an engaging piece of work! One eskimO is an album that can fall under a variety of genres. Mellow Britpop, shoegaze and ambient are just a few labels one could attach to this group, but what makes One eskimO such an intriguing band is the ability to effectively mesh so many different genres into one piece of work.

The entire album tells a story that leads off with a narrative about “an average sort that lives in a nice average neighborhood in a nice average town”. “Hometime” begins the musical proceedings as the narrator’s voice fades away. A good lead track, with the gentle strumming of the acoustic guitar complementing the vocals very well, but this is just a tiny glimpse of what is forthcoming.

The stunning second song of the album is entitled “Astronauts”. This is one of those rare moments in music when a quiet song is so beautiful, yet so powerful, that the listener is transplanted to a state of complete tranquility. Yes, this song is that good!

The remaining nine tracks continue to build upon the solid foundation of the first two songs. One eskimO is an album that really needs to be heard from start to finish, uninterrupted, to fully comprehend the message Leontiou is trying to convey.

The vocal style is reminiscent of Colin Moulding of XTC fame with a hint of Dave Matthews thrown in, while the music features plenty of acoustic strumming on the guitar and solid work on the bass and drums to propel each song along at an even pace. The guitar work will at times switch to a bright shimmer, adding an ethereal shoegaze presence to the album. Making the album even more unique is a jazz presence on tracks such as “Kandi”.

This is a good debut from One eskimO. What a solid foundation to create more quality music for years to come!”

The band features Kristian Leontiou on vocals, Craigie Dodds doing sound design, Adam Falkner on drums and Jamie Sefton on the bass and horns. What makes this band so unique is the animated version of the band present in album artwork, videos and sometimes even during live shows. Those “members” are Eskimo on vocals, Monkey on bass guitar and horns, Giraffe on the drums and percussion and Penguin on lead guitar.

One eskimO animated

It had been a few years since I listened to One eskimO, nice to bring it up on the iPod for the purpose of this post. What I recall from initially listening to the record that still comes to mind five years later is how much is going on with such a mellow piece of work. This band is subtle and overwhelms you with the tranquil landscape created in the songs. They also overwhelm you with creativity. The band created an animated series entitled “The Adventures of One eskimO” consisting of ten chapters set to the album. They are wonderful videos and go well with each piece of music. Here is “Chapter 1: Lost Love for You”.

Album Inspiration: One eskimO


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