It seems like a bit of a paradox that one can make earthy connected songs with various technological pieces, but Eskmo seems to have found that exact niche with his new EP Terra. After his previous release Language out on Ancestor back in October, Terra brings a totally new perspective, this time darker, slower, and more “earthy”. It’s a wonderful release filled with emotion and craftily arranged drums and progressions that are both moving and soulful. You can grab the EP over on his website (and name your own price for it too), and read my quick little interview with him after the jump.
GDD: Hi Brendan! I hear you are an SF to LA transplant. (Sources say you actually live quite near me, close to Naturewell…) What inspired the move?
E: Oh yeah, I’m at Naturewell often. The move was inspired by a number of things: mostly just looking to expand, the weather, the networks of people down here and new explorations.
GDD: I’m fascinated by your spirituality both in life and in your music… it’s a surprisingly rare thing to come across, especially in LA and in this music scene. Without sounding like this is pushing your philosophy, is there a great lesson you’ve gotten in connection with your spirituality that you’d like to share?
E: Oh I don’t know that I have a sort of philosophy, but I can say there is tremendous value, if you want to call it that, in being in the present moment. That’s one I always strive for. LA, just like any city, has a varying group of communities and peoples of all sorts. I love it.
GDD: There’s a definite emotional connectivity in your music…. for you personally though, any albums you can’t listen to without getting upset? What about songs that can make you feel better no matter what?
E: I honestly don’t listen to my music after its been released other than performing live and practicing. In those moments there are certainly some tracks that move me more than others, but it always changes. That mostly has to do with whats happening in my life and the space I’m in.
GDD: In the same kind of line, do you hope for people to understand your meanings behind the songs, or for everyone to sort of derive their own meaning from it? Or is it a balance of musical expression with openness to interpretation?
E: I would say a balance. I would be fibbing myself if I were to say I don’t really care if people think anything of it, because I do. At the very least I hope it instigates something, anything. If people end up diving in further, great.
GDD: How did your relationship with Friends of Friends develop, and what can / would you like to tell us about your new EP?
E: I met Leeor at FoF ages ago as well as some of the guys that work with them. They’ve always been lovely. The new EP is the sort of flip side to the last EP I released “Language”. This one plays along slower, melodic realms. I like to let the music speak for itself, but I can say it has to do with simple matters on the Earth and how people individually are wrapped up into them.
GDD: What, real or imaginary, do you wish you could have with you in the studio? And what do you ACTUALLY always have with you in the studio?
E: I wish I could have a floating golden orb that constantly gently reminds me that sound is of the universe when I’m feeling morose. I actually have plants and the ever unfolding unknown.
GDD: How would you describe your progression in music over the past year, and what are you hoping to gain or create over the next one?
E: It went in directions I wasn’t totally expecting although I’m not surprised either. Its become more refined and less head-oriented, at least for me. Less scheme-y and tense, and my overall mindset with the past year of music was very much a meditation in letting go and simplifying. For next year, I have no idea. It will unfold as it unfolds.
GDD: Who are some artists (any genre) who you’ve found recently who are deserving of more attention?
E: New in my world would be Kishi Bashi, any good Native American traditional peyote songs, Gonda traditional dancers (african), and diving deeper into Peter Gabriels work.
GDD: If you could take us on a trip around the meaningful or cool places in LA, where would you take us?
E: I’m still learning. But Griffith Park, Topanga, Silverlake, a trip out to Joshua Tree, and perhaps on Monday to see “The Strokes” at UCB theater.
GDD: Finally, GDD tradish, what’s your favorite drink?
E: Right now.. probably a super hippied out fresh green juice with lemon and cayanne on top.