The advancements in technology have led us to lazy music listening. When we listened on vinyl, we were forced to listen to the entire song and album beginning to end. Tape, same thing. And, in the grand scheme of things, we’re brought to the infant stages of the digital transition. This breakthrough brought a whole new level of listening (digital restoration, less physical space, etc.), but in the same breath brought on a new level of laziness. To most listeners this allows the ability to hear the best part of the song and skip to the next without mastering the needle drop or knowing how much of that buzzing we need before hitting play on the walkman.
There is an extremely distressing drawback to the evolution of technology. Pepper Rabbit’s newest addition to the world of music is a stunning example of why. Take Red Velvet Snowball: listen until you’re hooked, which takes about 27 seconds, get your fill of the song and move on. You’ll surely miss out some absolutely brilliant breakdowns and superb musical talent. A talent which is fully attributed to an unconventional thought process. The ability to take everything you’ve learned or been influenced by and not focus on anything in particular; simply letting it take form on its own. Making every second of every song count, much to the dismay of the trigger happy modern tech worshipers, Pepper Rabbit has established an album that is worth following until it fades into silence.
A worthwhile use of an opening track, “Lake House” plays on the emotions with a marching snare keeping rhythm with the mesmerizing lyrics; lyrics that will play a large role in keeping the ambient feeling throughout the album. “Family Planning” utilizes its simple echoed electronic organ opening sets up the dream sequence feeling that glues the album together. Often using chaotic build ups, Xander Singh and Luc Laurent utilize their personal connection with their instruments to reel the songs in and establish a funky vision motivated by feeling. Songs like “In Search of Simon Birch” and “Tiny Fingers” hug the safety of simplicity while maintaining the ability to emerge solid and impactful. Each track Pepper Rabbit lays down commands your full attention in a polite, please listen attitude that unconsciously persuades you to take a trip with them without hostility.
A definitive album made up of layered loops, melodic vocals, and distorted build ups met by the equal breakdown, Red Velvet Snowball is a journey best imagined as a soundtrack to the subconscious. Each track’s ability to be replayed again and again is a testament to the variety of layers waiting to be discovered. Beginning to end, each is a story fed by the previous and defined as its own. The primarily piano-driven album, overlaid with effect, delivers a one-two punch of dreamy imagination inspired by those before it. Joining the ranks of the Shins and Supertramp, with slightly less cynicism than the latter, they are almost paralleled with their modern musicians. Pepper Rabbit is well on their way.