Why Estere won't be writing love songs

Siena Yates,
Spy News,
Publish Date
Wednesday, 9 August 2017, 3:19PM

If you're looking for emotional, confessional ballads and powerful love songs, don't come looking for Estere.

The 25-year-old Wellington artist has more on her radar than that.

The singer/producer deals in what she calls "electric blue witch-hop", a kind of mash up of electronic music, ethereal, naturist vibes, hip hop and something you can't quite place.

Whatever it is, it's something uniquely Estere, and something she's building on with the release of an upcoming two-part album, the first of which is titled My Design Part 1.

The first single from the album, Pro Bono Techno Zone has just been released; a funky, fun take on the technological world we live in with an insane bass beat that throbs through your headphones.

The chorus laments how technology "has all the kids at home / zip-locked behind their screens", but Estere insists she isn't anti-tech.

"I think it's amazing, but it's like we're all existing in another realm to some degree when we use it and what kind of repercussions does that have?"

The album is packed full of songs like that, all based on observations or telling stories - stories that aren't even necessarily related to her own life.

"I don't like to write songs about love or romantic relationships or personal dilemmas, even though I know that they make beautiful songs, that's not what interests me in the world of songwriting. It's observing even the most mundane things," she says.

That's why she's a huge fan of Australian singer/songwriter Courtney Barnett, who changed up the industry with her tales of gardening, not wanting to go to parties and house hunting.

"She'll sing about being in an elevator for a full verse," Estere laughs.

A post shared by Estère (@esterelola) on

"I really like when songs can focus on details about the world in a kind of lyrical, poetic sense, because I think that anything can be a song, essentially. So all the songs are narrative-based, [about] things that I might observe or things that I feel strongly about so in that sense I wanted to give all the songs space to be able to breathe and tell their stories."

That's why the album is split into two parts, and then when fans have taken each one in separately, they "unify" into one body of work.

And the production, which Estere does herself with a music production controller she calls Lola, is just as pivotal as the songwriting. Estere's beats continue to push boundaries and experiment with new sounds; one track is even made from a sped-up recording of bamboo trees in Vietnam.

My Design Part 1 is due for release on October 13 and fans can get a sneak preview during a short tour Estere is doing to promote Pro Bono Techno Zone.

She'll play Auckland's Lot23 tomorrow night and another show in Wellington on Saturday.

LOWDOWN: Who: Estere What: Electric blue witch-hop Latest release: Pro Bono Techno Zone single out now, My Design Part 1 due October 13