A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away–okay, not where I was going. But a long time ago, late 2014, I clicked the little “watch later” button on a video by a singer named EstÃ¨re, and I finally watched it this morning. The song was a cover of PJ Harvey’s “The Words That Maketh Murder“, and it was a fantastic one! Before I get into that, and other songs by this talented artist, let me introduce you to her a little bit.
From Wellington, New Zealand, EstÃ¨re is a quirky-voiced, funky jazz-soul singer-songwriter and a multi-talented producer, with an MPC named Lola. She likes to label her music as being “electric blue witch-hop”, and she is known to produce all of her music at home, while comfortably wearing her pajamas. Now, after hearing all the songs that I’ve shared at the bottom, you’ll be a fan of this electric blue witch-hop woman named EstÃ¨re, like I’ve become, too!
In 2013, she embarked on the Red Bull Prodigy collaborative project with producer Oddisee. The two spent 2 weeks together, in the studio, writing and producing music together–she produced a song, he produced a song, and they produced one together (hear “Flashlight”, “Curtains Down”, and “Noon” over here). Following that, in April, 2014, she independently released her self-titled debut album. In her time, she has also opened for international artists such as Erykah Badu, Morcheeba, Baths, Ikonika, and KT Tunstall.
To the best of my knowledge, she has joined with the Aston Road record label. Now, the particular cover of PJ Harvey‘s song that I mentioned at the beginning, was part of the Aston Road Sessions. Last year, in May, Aston Road put together an event called the Aston Road Sessions. Over the course of 3 days, the sessions were recorded and filmed in front of a live audience, in Wellington, at the Blue Barn Studios. Each night featured their managed artists: EstÃ¨re, Louis Baker, and Thomas Oliver. They each performed a selection of new and previously recorded songs.
[divider]THE ASTON ROAD SESSIONS[/divider]
While keeping similar vocal inflections and the folk influence, EstÃ¨re really makes this war song her own. Standing behind the boards, you’ll hear metal clanking, drums beating in a marching rhythm, and her own vocal backup looping (along with audience participation), as she sings a bouncy, quirky version of the song. Her performance and energy, while in pajamas, is so upbeat and great. After watching this, you’ll see why I got into her and had to come to CB to write about her talent.
“Patchwork Soldier” is the third song on her debut album. With her slightly rapsy, honeyed voice floating out like a lullaby, she sings to a wounded veteran, lending her voice and heart to help patch up his bruises. It’s such a sweet, tender song. And listening to it after that PJ Harvey song, makes so much sense. Stunning.
Translating to “the bird up in the stars”, “L’oiseau dans l’etoile” is a funky song, sang entirely in French. As you might have already guessed. I don’t understand much French, but I read that the song is about a good-natured spirit, in the form of a bird, that can fix what’s wrong in the world. Give it a listen!
[divider]ODDISEE x ESTERE[/divider]
With chunky synth lines, playful whistling, and a groovy bassline, “I Spy” is the second song on her debut album. Remember that little game that you played on long car rides as a kid, called “I Spy”? Yeah, this will bring you back to those times–except, the things that EstÃ¨re sees with her little eye, are greedy people who gobble up all of the cake, leaving none for others who are less fortunate. Done by Adventure Artists, the music video finds her with MPC Lola, as she peeks through a telescope, only to see a dark, mysterious goblin of a man creeping through the dark-lit streets.
Eary last year, she was at TEDxVUW talk–an independently organized, locally engaged, globally connected event held in association with Victoria University of Wellington. She talks about being a girl in the beat world and the overall dynamics of being a multi-talented female musician. She talks about empowerment, and her wish to inspire other women to be confident and to hold their own in an otherwise male-dominated industry. You go, girl! She also performs “I Spy”, “L’oiseau dans l’etoile”, and “Reptilian Journey”. It’s almost 17-minutes in length, so check it out when you have the time.
Alright, so what do you think of her?! Amazing, right? If you’re a fan, make sure you connect with her on any one of these social networks and links listed below!