Saturday, April 17, 2010

Why? - Eskimo Snow

Why? - Eskimo Snow
Anticon, 2009
Acquired: Christmas Gift, New, 2009
Price: $0

Buy it at Insound!
While this isn't a particularly strong record, the third act of the trilogy of Yoni Wolf's broken heart is a great record. Honestly, though, it's pretty hard to match the pain captured on Elephant Eyelash and the sad brutality of Alopecia. If the former is about going through a break-up (well, that's what I always thought it was about) and the latter is about the aftermath (which was perfect for when I first listened to it in 2008), then Eskimo Snow was all about making peace and moving on. Naturally, that kind of subject matter isn't as compelling and for someone like Yoni Wolf who's raw honesty to the point of discomfort is one of Why?'s strongest attributes. But in a year that I marked for moving on, this couldn't have come at a better time. I got to see him play a few tunes from this solo at SXSW in 09, and it was a pretty shitty set. He only played for 20 minutes and with his back to the audience. Ok, actually the set was pretty rad, and I only say “shitty” because I'd been standing for like 45 minutes waiting for him to go on. Otherwise, it was great, and the way these songs stand up on solo-piano is a testament to just how fucking good they are.

It's not as cohesive at the other two, but I don't really mind too much. Wolf cites it as “the least hip-hop thing [they've] ever done” and my favorite songs are the slow, piano-y ones. Like the title track, which Luke directed me to a live performance of before this album was even announced. It's gorgeous, sad as fuck, and right up my alley. A perfect platform for Yoni Wolf to establish himself as a top 10 songwriter of right now. If you avoided this album due to the middling reviews, bad on you! It's some shit I would do though, so I can't really point fingers. But yeah, this is a good'un, and one that I've been putting on a lot lately whenever I need something to go on the turntable.

Here's that video I was telling you about.

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