Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Eskimo Joe - A Rough Guide

From Wikipedia:
"Eskimo Joe is an Australian rock band formed in East Fremantle, Western
 Australia in 1997. The band consists of vocalist and bassist Kavyen
 Temperley, drummer and guitarist Joel Quartermain and guitarist Stuart

I was a bit late in fully appreciating Eskimo Joe.  "Black Fingernails,
Red Wine" was the track that initially got me interested.  I listened to
the band's second and third albums around that time, and while I liked
the music, it wasn't until recently that it completely resonated with me.
Funny how things turn out.

The band's official web site:

The links in the guide below are to YouTube movies.  If the links are
blocked, you can listen to selected tracks via the band's website, or
search for tracks on SoundCloud:

The "rough guide" ...

1. "Black Fingernails, Red Wine"
This is the title track and first single the band's third studio album
"Black Fingernails, Red Wine".  I picked this track to start the guide
because, as mentioned earlier, it's the song that made me first notice
the band.  It was the band's first top ten hit, was awarded Single of
the Year in 2006, and came in at number two in the Triple J Hottest 100.
This clip is apparently the original version, which was replaced by a
less sinister one for official release.  The concept for the video is
explained in the comments.

Eskimo Joe's debut single, "Sweater", was released in 1998.  A self-
titled EP followed in 1999.

2. "Head Hurts"
This is the opening track from the band's debut album, "Girl", released
in 2001.  I've chosen this track, rather than the singles "Wake Up" and
"Who Sold Her Out", because it has a harder edge musically, and the
lyrics are more interesting.

3. "Liar"
This is the official video for the fourth single from the debut album.
The director of the clip, Nash Edgerton, would become a regular
collaborator in later videos.

4. "Driver"
This is the closing track from "Girl".  It starts with quiet verses
which build to wailing choruses.  Not surprisingly, the band members are
Pixies fans.

Other highlights on the band's impressive debut include "Take A Rest"
and "Just Like Me".

5. "Come Down"
The band released its second album, "A Song Is A City", in 2004.
According to the band, the inspiration was drawn from Fremantle.  This
is another great album opener.

6. "From The Sea"
This is the official video for the first single from "A Song Is A City".
It was the band's first top 40 hit in Australia, was nominated for
Single of the Year, and was number three in Triple J's Hottest 100.

7. "Older Than You"
This is the third single from "A Song Is a City".  The official video
was shot over 14 hours using a time-lapse technique.

Other highlights from the band's second album include "I'm So Tired",
"Life Is Better With You" and "Smoke".

8. "Comfort You"
The band's third album, "Black Fingernails, Red Wine", was released in
2006.  This is the opening track.  The lyrics are almost non-existent,
just some oohs and a few words repeated.  But I like the haunting piano
backed by the distorted guitar.  Simple stuff, but very effective.

9. "London Bombs"
This is the fifth single from "Black Fingernails, Red Wine".  The
official video has some neat visual effects, and the use of sepia tones
gives it a nostalgic touch.

10. "Breaking Up"
This is the video for the fourth single from "Black Fingernails".

Deservedly, the album was the band's first Australian ARIA Albums Chart
Number 1.  There are many highlights on this solid album, including the
singles: "New York" and "Sarah", plus "This Is Pressure" and "Beating
Like A Drum".

11. "Foreign Land"
"Inshalla", the fourth studio album by Eskimo Joe, was released in 2009.
This is the official video for the first single.  As the title suggests,
there's an exotic feel to the song.  The video features some Whirling

The album debuted at number one in Australia.  It was nominated for the
ARIA Album of the Year Award in 2009.  This was the first album where the
band used an outside producer, the renowned Gil Norton, who had produced
three albums for the Pixies.

12. "Losing Friends Over Love"
This is the official video for the second single from "Inshalla".  Catchy
tune with a nice bit of animation.

13. "Don't Let Me Down"
This is the third single from "Inshalla".  Quite a different sound for
the band.  In fact, I thought it was a cover of an eighties song.  As if
to emphasis this, the clip starts with a woman carrying a boom-box.  The
rest of the clip is a touch risque.

Other highlights on the album include "The Sound of Your Heart", "Losing
My Mind" and "Morning Light".

The band has contributed some covers on soundtracks and tribute albums.
A new album, tentatively titled "Ghost From The Past", is expected to be
released in July.

Bonus track:

"To Look At You" (with INXS)
Last year, lead singer Kav Temperley contributed vocals to a remake of an
INXS classic.