Written by on April 13, 2015


‘Heartbeat’ was the first single from Esther Stephens & The Means full length album, originally released in Novermber 2014 – bridging the gap between the 2014’s ‘The Ends EP’ and the debul album. Featuring the talents of MC Hone Be Good (Sidesteps Quintet), and Keys by Daniel Hayles (Richter City Rebels/Myele Manzanza).

Inspired by a collective love of genre- blending, and a commitment to live instrumentation and technical discipline, Esther Stephens (vocals) & The Means (Tom Broome – drums, Abe Kunin – guitar, Marika Hodgson – bass) have been described as “a refreshingly seamless fusion of soul, funk, pop, jazz, psychedelia; basically just a beautiful celebration of beats, rhymes, & life.” – Dove Schwenke, Doves Diary.

Their self-titled debut album presents an anthology of modern torch-songs, neo-soul ballads and beat-heavy trip-hop tracks reflecting on love, relationships lost and won, and the 20-something search for significance and identity. The album continues the band’s creative partnership with NYC Producer Aaron Nevezie, noted for his work with Danger Mouse, tUnE-yArDs and The Black Keys, and features appearances from MC Hone Be Good (The Sidesteps Quintet), RnB vocalist Matt Nanai, and handpicked guest instrumentalists.

The band has been building critical momentum on the NZ music scene in the lead up to their album release. Twice recipients of NZ on Air funding, their music video for ‘Light In You’ is currently in production. They are part of the Red Bull Sound Select Young, Gifted & Broke roster alongside Team Dynamite and Third 3ye, (with whom they toured nationally in 2014) and have been profiled in Red Bulletin magazine. The band have collaborated with local acts including Homebrew and Tama Waipara, and have supported international acts Olivier Daysoul (US), Apollo Brown (US), Oddisee (US), Flatbush Zombies (US), Panama (AUS), & Azizi Gibson (US). “Mesmerising and almost hypnotising… the complementation of these magical musical forces is one that you have to experience.” – Rachael Watson, Groove & Marvel.


Turn It Up is a feature on Base FM where we showcase a new track from Aotearoa every week. Tune in weekdays at 10am and 4pm to hear this weeks top local pick.

Brought to you by NZ On Air Music.

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