18 Jun 2019
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Estère - Album review: My Design, On Other's Lives

07 May 2018 // A review by Jacquie Walters

It’s no surprise that Estère recently opened for Grace Jones. In some ways Estère is a sonic acolyte of the magnificent Jones, particularly in the sense that she is endlessly fascinating and mesmerising.  

Take a deep breath, you’ll need all the oxygen you can get to listen attentively to all Estere’s new album has to offer.

My Design, On Others' Lives is a fantastic, immersive adventure absolutely packed with creativity and invention. Close your eyes, turn up the volume, and enter the Estère dimension.

Mixed by Lee Prebble, Simon Gooding, and Benny Tones, mastered by Mike Gibson and Benny Tones and produced by Estère herself, this clever album is endlessly surprising and full of delights.

The first section of the album entitled Part 1: My Design demonstrates Estère’s command of driving rhythm and her ability to create hooks that are veritable earworms. Control Freak has an immediate appeal. Grandmother is a beautiful love song to the mother of her father. Yet even as she articulates the tenderness of the track’s subject matter, Estère is constantly exploring the boundaries, catching the listener’s attention and never allowing complacency to creep in.

Pro Bono Techno Zone is a highlight of Part 1. “Up the rivers rise, down the shadows fall. What we thought was free isn’t free at all.” The addition of the backing vocals from a group of young singers really adds to the track. 

Part 2: On Others’ Lives continues Estère’s exploration of sound. Rent is memorable, not least because of the power of the lyrics. “I don’t need to ask nobody else to know deep down I’m doing well…because I can pay my rent”. Gun Kid is the stand out track for me with the shifts in style within the track and combination of smooth vocals and pure grit. It’s a really extraordinary piece of work, once again with lyrical bullets that really hit home. “You’d better guard your front door. What do you think I’ve got MY gun for?” Guilty rounds out Part 2 with its truly beautiful guitar and vocal work.

My Design, On Other’s Lives really is a brilliant piece of work. It might defy easy categorisation but what a rich and rewarding creation it is.

★★★★★ (5 stars)


Review written by Jacquie Walters.

 

About Estère

Estère is a girl with an MPC she calls Lola. She produces all her own songs with Lola, mostly at home in her pyjamas. Estère plays/records a mixture of bass, synth, drums, guitar, vocal harmonies, keyboard, whistles, claps, kazoo, desk tapping and anything else that might take her fancy then layers her production with pulsating rhythms and evocative melodies that adhere to the genre of Electric Blue Witch hop.

Since obtaining Lola in March 2012, Estère has played a large variety of live performances in cities and festivals through-out New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Europe. These include Jeonju International Sori Festival, Ulsan World Music Festival, Aarhus International Music Festival and Melbourne Let Them Eat Cake.

Over the last year Estère has also opened for a variety of international artists, including Erykah Badu, Morcheeba, Baths, Ikonika and KT Tunstall. In April 2014 Estère released her debut self produced album via band camp. Most of Estère's songs, including Culture Clash, Cruel Charlie, I Spy, Thoughts, Patchwork Solider, Reptilian Journey and Flash Light (feat Oddisee) have received extensive radio play on stations through-out New Zealand and have featured on various international blogs including Afro Punk, Disco Naiveté and Portals.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Estère

Releases

My Design, On Other's Lives
Year: 2018
Type: Album
My Design, Part 1
Year: 2017
Type: Album
New Species
Year: 2015
Type: EP
Estère
Year: 2014
Type: Album

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