Graph Rabbit, a duo comprised of Brooklyn-based artist Austin Donohue and Shy Kedmi (with an assist from producer Allen Farmelo) released Snowblind on its own label, Butterscotch Records, in October 2012. Anyone pining for a mellowed out Thom Yorke or a toned down Jonsi will find a blissful sonic and vocal utopia on this subtly wondrous beauty of an album.
Three of its 8 songs of are represented by official videos at YouTube. “Falling Snow” is the most recent and most ambitious video, with Austin and Allen performing on a stage amid a captivating ballet performance. The song itself is a bit precious, but its innocence takes the listener back to childhood memories of enchanted snowfalls that possibly signaled school being cancelled for the day.
“Only Fields” channels Thom Yorke in calm dreamland instead of anxious nightmareville. Austin sings in a softly vulnerable tone that he’s “head over heels” amid a subdued lullaby of acoustic guitar strum and bright electro notes. The out of focus video fluidly transitions through Austin floating in an opaque cocoon in front of a changing landscape.
The one-take video shot of “Make It Stop” is a simple, but interesting technique, with the camera continually circling around Austin and Shy who are facing each other, staring into each other’s eyes. The song, however, is immersed in extremely repetitive lyrics (and the occasional, unexpected F-bomb!) that keep going on instead of stopping. Well, until it does stop, and none too soon…
What is arguably the best song of the album, the limpid, bittersweet “Blackwood Tree”, cannot be found on YouTube. Gently finger-picked guitar mingles with bell tings, globular notes, and Austin’s delicately airy, melancholic vocals as he mourns “Where are you going?” and murmurs “Come now and sleep…”
“White Birds” – (live at Kennedy Center)