When I was in junior high school, I went to Hawaii with my sports team for a week. While there, my friend bought a pathetic looking ukulele for $40, which I stole and fiddled with every chance I could get. I remember wandering the streets of Honolulu, trying to use my limited knowledge of stringed instruments and musical theory to pluck away at the thing and produce something resembling a song. Ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the instrument.
Enter Pepper Rabbit, an experimental duo with appropriately awesome names. Artists Xander Singh and Luc Laurent hail from Silver Lake, CA, a town that is quickly becoming a hot spot for new indie music (insert reference to Local Natives here.) Having released two EP’s in 2009 (Shakes and Clicks), the band already established a buzz before the release of their debut, Beauregard, this fall. I instantly became fascinated upon first listen of “Older Brother,” the most single-friendly track on the album. If the simple rhythmic chords of the ukulele and enchanting lyrical slurs don’t entice you, the track is draped with low-fi echoes, chimes, bells and all those things that make your walks to wherever enjoyable.
Beyond “Older Brother” are songs which appropriately call upon trumpets, banjos and even sweet, distant synth-pop, all carried by snare drums and minimalist beats. Beauregard, is a compilation of beautiful instrumentation subdued by hushed voices and an almost psychedelic backdrop. Their sleepy reverberate pop-rock sets an ethereal atmosphere, and is especially welcoming this time of year with autumn in full swing and the first snows fast approaching. “Babette” and “Red Wine” are destined to quickly become favorites, but don’t let the more poppy songs dissuade you; every track has its own character and is appreciable. It is a great album to pop into your computer and let carry you to sleep at night, as you stare blissfully at the ceiling (speaking from experience.)
Check out the adorable sounds and christmas sweaters in their live KEXP studio performance: