Pepper Rabbit - Beauregard

by Katy Ledger Rating:8 Release Date:2011-01-22

If bands like Beirut, Mercury Rev, Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and Neutral Milk Hotel bore you to tears, I think it's safe to say that this band probably aren't for you. If, however, you are a fan of experimental lo-fi indie psych-pop folksy goodness (!) then it gives me great pleasure to introduce Pepper Rabbit, who bring you their debut album, Beauregard.

Duo, Xander Singh and Luc Laurent come all the way from LA armed with a mixed bag of musical noise makers, including a ukulele, trumpet, piano and clarinet, which they use with thought and precision. Despite the menagerie of instruments that are utilised on Beauregard, the songs are never crowded; on the contrary, they often sound very simple and although this is contrasted with large orchestral moments, Pepper Rabbit are careful not to cross into the showy and bombastic realms of Arcade Fire or Broken Social Scene.

The single 'Older Brother' is the most instantly catchy song on the album, with a memorable chorus and warming, upbeat layers of piano, percussion and ukulele but when you listen to the lyrics of this seemingly chirpy sounding song they tell the heartbreaking tale of coming to terms with the death of a friend with realistic and unassuming perfection. The other tracks, although nowhere near as instantaneous, all have something to offer in the way of beautifully precise percussion and lyrics that expertly pull you into a contemplative dream world.

The one downside to Beauregard is that it can be a little too dreamy and introspective. Pretty arrangements and insightful lyrics are sometimes so subtle they pass by unnoticed. This does mean that with each listen you discover little snippets you missed last time and, although none of the songs can match 'Older Brother', the discovery of these thoughtful titbits means the album grows with each listen.

A captivatingly mellow collection of experimental indie from a pair of folksy clever clogs, this album will mesmerise you.

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