You may not know the name Xander Singh, but there’s a high chance that you’d recognize much of the music he’s helped make for the past several years. After spending about two years playing small gigs under his own name, Xander Singh formed the group Pepper Rabbit, whose hit song “Older Brother” is one of my all-time favorites. The band lasted for about 3 years, until one day in 2011, when Xander Singh posted a message on Facebook announcing that Pepper Rabbit would be breaking up. A mere eight days after his last show with Pepper Rabbit, Xander got a call from some of his friends from Boston asking to join their band. Turns out it wasn’t just any band — it was Passion Pit. Sounds like a dream, but what he didn’t yet know is that only three years later, he’d be forced to leave the band for serious health reasons. This is the story of Xander Singh, a man who, practically overnight, went from feeling on top of the world to hitting rock bottom. Continue reading “[Interview] Xander Singh: The path from living the dream to hitting rock bottom” »
What’s Left: 322 Days. 84 Bands.
Band #17: Pepper Rabbit
When/Where: October 7th, T.T. The Bear’s Place, Cambridge, MA
Expectations: This is the first tour for the newly formed duo. Their debut album comes out in two weeks, so I am not really sure what to expect.
Concert: Pepper Rabbit is touring as a three-person band and they employed a pretty great bassist/keyboard player to help them out. They started off with their song “Red Wine” which I liked a lot better live than the track I had heard. I have listened to their song “Older Brother” quite a bit, which is fairly straightforward instrumentation and organic sounds, so I was surprised at how much the effect pedals were used throughout their show. I actually liked their sound a lot but was just not expecting that after their songs I had heard. There was also a lot of looping tracks that got played, which was fine, but maybe in the future they will add some more band members. On a few occasions, Xander Singh’s voice got lost behind everything that was going on in an inconsistent manner, but I will have to listen to their album to figure out if that was intentional or not.
There were at least two songs that I hadn’t heard before that blew me away and led to my final decision to purchase their LP, Beauregard, that they were selling before the release date. Pepper Rabbit’s songs cover a lot of ground. On one end of the spectrum there are ukulele based songs like “Older Brother” with a catchy chorus and a traditionally pop format. And at the other end they played a song that reminded me of The Beatles’ “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite” with wandering verses that lead you to expansive spaces that get filled with stretches of dark echoing vocals and slightly discordant riffs and even a New Orleans-style funeral procession march thrown in the mix. However, they take enough influences from all over to make their own interesting sound. For an audience that knew so few of their songs, I was surprised at how captivated they were by the music, which is a great way for this new band to start out.
Concert Afterglow: Not what I was expecting to hear but I was very intrigued and I want to hear more.
Recommendation: Maybe not the greatest performance, but if you go you can always say you saw them before they got big.