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Pepper Rabbit

Pepper Rabbit, Beauregard, CD Review 

(Kanine Records)

This rare bit of Low-Fi weirdness can only come from California. Xander Singh and Luc Laurent are a pair of folk wunderkind who aren’t afraid to use a banjo and ukulele on the same album, and clearly have no pre-existing sonic fears.

Singh and Laurent signed with Kanine Records (home of Electro-dreamers The Depreciation Guild) after being seen performing at the SXSW Festival. With the release of Beauregard they are primed to make a dent – a very mellow dent – in the acoustic driven indie-folk world. With an emphasis on more classical sounds and instruments (see the appropriately titled album-opener “Clarinet Song”) Pepper Rabbit seem happy to make little more than strange but comforting noise. Despite the seemingly experimental nature of their sound, their real stock-in-trade is actually pop. Beauregard might call to mind the chamber-music influenced pop-rock of The Arcade Fire, though that’s not quite accurate: Pepper Rabbit have a far less rock-influenced take on the available dimensions of modern recording.

Tracks such as “Older Brother” show where they really shine; Singh’s nearly vanishing vocals and instrumentation compliment his honest and raw (though seemingly never bitter) lyrics perfectly. Laurent’s percussion on every track of the album is strong and precise without being over-bearing.

Like label-mates Grizzly Bear, Pepper Rabbit has a chance at making it big though not in the Top 40 sense of the phrase. The duo has created a powerful buzz via the blogosphere as well as word-of-mouth. In the age of The Internet, it’s possible for an unusual duo like Luc Laurent and Xander Singh to reach fame through non-commercial channels. Which is ultimately fitting: this sort of joyful noise and left of center sound is expertly woven and not to be taken lightly.

Track list:
Clarinet Song
Harvest Moon
In The Spirit Of Beauregard
Red Wine
Snowalker
Older Brother
None Shall Sleep
Song For A Pump Organ
Babette !
Send In The Horns

Find out more about Pepper Rabbit with these links:

MySpace Page
Kanine Records

Review by Lucas Yochum
Author of The Obscuritan Journal

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