WHY? – Eskimo Snow Album Review

Eskimo Snow is an album full of what I would call “unseeming pop songs.” WHY? have managed to craft an album of songs that aren’t particularly graceful or classically poppy, but somehow, it works. A couple lines from this song or that song manages to get lodged into your head, and before you know it, you’re listening to the whole song so you can listen to those two lines. Soon, you’re somehow in love with the whole song with all of its atypical nuances; the lack of generic song structures and lack of clear melodies in some songs become charming. The tinkering, twinkling backgrounds built on strings, synths, and piano and the occasional curious use of instrumental silence become irresistible. Add in vocalist Yoni Wolf’s signature off-kilter, cryptic lyrics, and the disc is worth it for its lyrical content alone. Album opener “These Hands” and title track “Eskimo Snow” are easily digestible highlights, and “Against Me” is a death-themed work of art. The other tracks are growers, but grow they will; you will soon find yourself singing about cutting watermelons with wires and finding dead foxes.

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Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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