A few months ago Oz posted about the lead track by a little known band called Pepper Rabbit. “Older Brother” is a mesmerizing piece of folk-pop that is at times stark and at other points fully orchestrated. The ukulele purposely moves along as horns and piano dance around it. It is a brilliant piece of songwriting that has been wearing out my repeat button and had me anxiously awaiting the full LP by this duo of Xander Singh and Luc Laurent.
I don’t want to say I was let down when I got the full version of Beauregard – just a little surprised. I expected every tune to suck me in like “Older Brother” and leave me grinning like I was on nitrous. But alas, that didn’t happen. Two things kept pulling me back this album, however: 1) The aforementioned Older Brother and 2) I had the same reaction with label mates Grizzly Bear. I kept going back to Vecktamiest due to the song “Two Weeks” and now I consider that album to be pure genius.
So I repeatedly set off on my journey with Beauregard, anxious to find something connect me to the album. On one of my early listens, I just focused in on Laurent’s percussion. Rarely do I say this about a drummer, but I found his percussion to be very soothing. The stability of his playing was a welcome respite as Singh layered a variety of instruments and looped vocals that kept my head spinning.
Then I was started to delve into the nuances of Pepper Rabbit’s songs. The way the keys that dance up your spine on “Harvest Moon” or the feeling of falling out of control on “In The Spirit of Beauregard.” The way the clarinet just lies beneath the banjo on “Snowalker” giving it a slight boost. Over the course of a few listens, I really began to enjoy the genius of this partnership. Every song seems to feature a different instrument and offer a glimpse of the creativity to come in the future. This is one of the best bands to emerge in 2010.