I usually try to avoid overdoing it with backstory, but Dear Eskiimo [ed. note: It’s now just Eskiimo; check out the comments] has proven to be so confounding that a little context feels appropriate, if only to relieve the mystery in my own mind. About three months ago we got a link in our suggestion box to an entertaining pop mini-mix that merged the mixers’ own tracks with showtunes, Depeche Mode, Gwen Stefani, PiL, Eminem, and more. Eskiimoâ€™s original music was intriguing, if truncated, so I emailed them to solicit more music with which to share the sharing. We exchanged a couple of semi-cryptic messages and I waited for MP3s that never came. Soâ€¦I go searching the other day and am reminded of Eskiimo, whose MySpace page now features two downloadable tracks. The group counts Gorillaz, Eels, and The Dresden Dolls among its friends on MySpace and it has major press representation, slick photos, and an attractive lead singer. They were apparently on Mercury Records UK when they released their EP last year and now, with a full-length debut on the way, the Dear Eskiimo website redirects to Universal Music UKâ€¦where there is no information on the band. Long story short: Dear Eskiimo appears to be a relatively unknown UK pop group that has everything going for itâ€”major label support, cool â€œfriends,â€ and solid representation. [Read the comments for a demystifying explanation of what’s going on with Eskiimo]
Oh yeah, and talent. Lead singer Katie lists among her musical tastes â€œgood, un-crap pop music,â€ which is a great way to describe Dear Eskiimo, too. The trio make pop music that doesnâ€™t hide its radio ambitions, but they donâ€™t suffer terribly for it. Dear Eskiimo are quite unlike what weâ€™ve been trained to expect from Manchester over the years, which makes them sort of mainstream outcasts. They merge well with Annie, Scissor Sisters, Zero 7, and other groups youâ€™ll hear at hip clothing stores. And the mix of organic melodies and canned beats might bring back fond memories of, um, George Michaelâ€™s “Freedom ’90” and “Faith.” (Let the hater-mail commence.) â€œPrettyâ€ is a chirpy number aboutâ€¦abusive relationships. The whimsical â€œPatienceâ€ sounds Broadway all the wayâ€”I have the sneaking feeling itâ€™s a cover that I just canâ€™t place. In fact, I have the sneaking feeling that Dear Eskiimo may just be â€œundiscoveredâ€ to me and that Iâ€™ll get plenty of emails from those in the UK who have been listening to them on the radio for a while now. Oh well. Whether theyâ€™re stars or a secret, Dear Eskiimoâ€™s pop music sounds pretty un-crap to me.