I love it when I uncover a little-known, hidden gem in the great big music world. Indie band One eskimO has completely enraptured me with their raw talent.
Don't be mistaken...this eskimO is not from Alaska. This London-based foursome consists of Kristian Leontiou (vocals), Adam Falkner (drums), Pete Rinaldi (guitar), and Jamie Sefton (bass and horns). Leontiou had already achieved success with his certified-gold debut solo album, Some Day Soon, and a Top 10 U.K. hit but was unsatisfied with his pop image. He decided to take a different musical direction with his next project and thus, One eskimO was born.
Their critically-acclaimed, self-titled debut album has already sold over 35,000 units and spent 20 weeks on the New Artist chart. Their second single, "Kandi", has been #1 on adult alternative rock radio for 4 straight weeks and has sold 45,000 digital copies and counting. In tandem with the album, One eskimO has also released a full-length animated film, The Adventures of One eskimO, which has drawn comparisons to virtual band, Gorillaz. The animated short for the track, "Hometime" has received numerous honors at film festivals, including a 2008 British Animation Award.
They've even caught the attention of respectable musicians such as Bob Schneider, Gomez and Tori Amos, for whom they opened on her 2009 tour, and were featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in March 2010. You could say One eskimO is now a bonafide hit.
Thanks to the One2One Network, I was able to review the album.
5. Simple Day
6. Givin' Up
8. All Balloons
9. Chosen One
One eskimO is not your ordinary easy-listening, adult rock band. They have a contemporary, electro-acoustic, pop-rock sound that I know and love from current acts like Snow Patrol, Death Cab For Cutie, Damien Rice or James Morrison. The soulful lyrics and dreamy arrangements take you on a romantic journey through the ups and downs of love. I just close my eyes and float along to the melody. It's so relaxing and just the ticket when I get some much-needed "mommy time".
My favorite song from the album is "Astronauts", a soft, gravity-defying song about escaping reality:
Some of the other standout tracks for me were the sultry, hip-hop laced, "Slip", the thoughtful, mellow "Simple Day" (which showcases Leontiou's infectious falsetto) and the hauntingly beautiful "UFO". But the lyrics and harmonies of each record were incredibly moving. It's very rare that I feel connected to every song, but One eskimO managed to touch me with their every word.
So whenever you need space
I guess it's okay
When you're floating away
To feel nothing at all
We can be astronauts
If you want to get out of here
The catchy hit single "Kandi", which samples Candi Staton's "He Called Me Baby", is one of the few upbeat tracks that I found myself singing long after it was over. It's also just been licensed by the FOX TV show, Bones. Check out the video below and have a listen for yourself:
One eskimO is a true breakthrough act and I see big things in their future. You can tell they spent a lot of time perfecting each aspect of this project, and I really dig their whole ethereal vibe.
BUY IT: One eskimO is available now at most major retailers including Target, Best Buy, Borders, Barnes & Nobles and online at Amazon.com or iTunes (ARV $9.98).
FUN FREEBIE: Click here to download my favorite song from the album, "Astronauts" for free!
One eskimO will be touring this May and June as an opening act for Michael Franti and Spearhead, so check out their tour dates to catch a live show!
You can also become a fan of One eskimO on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the latest news and updates.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this album from One2One Network in exchange for my candid review. I was not compensated for any other way. The thoughts and opinions expressed in my review and solely mine and your experience may differ.