Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
There's a bit of a perpetual intrusion going on in One EskimO lead singer Kristian Leontiou's mind that sets him adrift. It's something that leads him into this spacey world that never lends itself to hyperactivity, just a slick and even, almost responsible, though distorted take on what's really happening to him. He seems as if he'd be one who would, with every bone in his body, believe that the coming of the end of the world was neigh, that this is the last coffee we're going to get, the last kiss, the last kick in the ass and the last chance, though it's all gonna be forgotten, or left beneath a smoldering pile of rubble before we know it anyway. Yes, the sky is falling, but part of Leontiou, on the London band's self-titled, debut full-length likes to harbor the thought that innocence could potentially win out when the shit starts hitting the fan. There's a lot of what he sings that feels partially like hero talk, as if he's not cashing in all of his chips - or the chips of others, and is willing to believe in the miracles that astronauts, space and time travel, or the goodness of babies might actually do for us. He'd likely be one of those - maybe reluctant, but mostly earnest - believers in the movie "Elf," whose blind belief in the Christmas spirit was able to re-power Santa/Ed Asner's sleigh and get those presents back into the air. He seems unable to help himself in believing that there's a way out of the disastrous situations if there's just a willingness to see the solutions through and what that essentially means in a One EskimO song, is believing (the kind you do with fingers crossed and eyes squeezed tightly shut) in the power of love. It's simple and it has been cliché, but that's not really what this band is all about. It's music about the power of loving, but there still are no assurances that any of it is going to stop the world from exploding. On the album, the undercurrent that the band builds into songs like "UFO" and "Astronauts," is one that demands that we pay attention to the clouds and how dark and growly they're starting to get in the west. They're going to bring a rumbler through here and there's going to be damage. It just might level the place - and all of these characters holding onto some kind of slippery love. This undercurrent allows for an exploration of both those who might be able to withstand the destruction and those who are just going to cover their heads and hope for the best - no more equipped to make it than anyone else. As the unknown snippet of spoken word at the beginning of the song "Kandi" goes, "This is the story of average sort of beau, who lives in a nice, average neighborhood, in a nice, average town. Every night he comes home to his nice, average house and in due time, he goes to sleep," there's an overriding thought that everyone's a pawn and there's nothing we're going to be able to do to affect much so just be what you're going to be, love who you want and hope for the best this damned place can give you. Leontiou sings elsewhere of what those results might be if things play out the way these melancholy, but somewhat R.E.M.-ish sounding songs suggest they might. He sings, "If we're lucky, we might see the end of the day completely….If we're lucky, we might see the end of the world completely." The lights might just cut and that could be a great gift. It would at least end the speculation and it would be quite the surprise as we all just wind up elsewhere - a place that sounds as if it's a reality if we take these songs to task.