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Purveyors of modern torch song, stripped back soul, jazz beats and vibrant psychedelia, Auckland quartet Esther Stephens & The Means are one of the most exciting young ensembles operating in New Zealand and Australia.

Singer & actress Esther Stephens is a mainstay of the Auckland music scene, having lent her pipes to acts including Homebrew, Sola Rosa and Tama Waipara. Her first underground release ‘Asahi’ was praised by music journalist Martyn Pepperell as a ‘sultry, richly toned trip-hop/modern soul voice through an engaging melodic and rhythmic frame’ (Martyn Pepperell, Vanguard Red Magazine) and in 2012 Esther was given special mention after the release of the chart topping Home Brew album on which she features. ‘Stephens is a true standout, and adds her smoky-toned R&B talents to four different tracks including the classily smouldering Plastic Magic.’ (Lydia Jenkin, NZ Herald).

Abraham Kunin (guitar), Tom Broome (drums) and Marika Hodgson (Bass) aka The Means got their start several years ago as session musicians, bonding at the time over D'Angelo records and a shared love of playing. Having spent the last couple of years gigging on both sides of the Tasman, and sharing stages with the likes of Olivier Daysoul (US), Apollo Brown (US) and Oddisee (US), things really crystalised for The Means late 2013 with the release of their Aaron Nevezie (The Bunker Studio, NYC) produced debut EP The Ends. Featuring outside contributions from vocalists Rachel Fraser, Jesse Cassin, and Courtney Meredith, keyboardist Steph Brown (Lips) and beatmaker Christoph El Truento, their EP lead to media coverage and support from New Zealand Musician, 13th Floor, Wildstyle Mag, Vanguard Red and Radio New Zealand. 

Continuing the longterm creative partnership which most notably produced three tracks from 'The Ends EP', and singles 'Free', and NZ on Air funded 'Under You' Esther Stephens & The Means have made their tryst public. On the back of successful Red Bull Sound Select NZ tours, they have joined both forces and monikers, and are currently producing an EP under this unified banner, due for release Summer 2015. 

"Mesmerising and almost hypnotising…the complementation of these two magical musical forces is one that you have to experience" Rachael Watson, Groove & Marvel


Under You

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The good peeps at Red Bull Sound Select let us pick some tunes we've been thrashing lately, and compiled them for your listening pleasure. There's one from each of us, and one from the whole gang. Check it out, you might hear something new that you'll dig. Just as an aside, thanks heaps for all the support both live and online in the last few weeks too, it Means heaps.
Esther Stephens & The Means Top Tunes | | Red Bull Sound Select
Arohanui to all of our expat friends and family in NY on (their) Sept 11th.
Fredericks Brown, LIPS, The Bunker Studio.
Fredericks Brown is performing their original "Empire City" at "ishlab studio" in Dumbo / New York. Thanks to everybody involved, including Daniel Lynas (Aud...
We've crammed one more gig into the calendar for next week! We'll be doing a wee show at The Portland Public House this Sunday night, 7pm, free entry.

Check this lovely review of our last gig at PPH from Groove & Marvel.

Event details -

See you there!
Esther Stephens, The Means & Noah Slee June 24, 2014Rachael Watson ESTHER STEPHENS a mesmerising, jazzy, soulicious songstress.....her smooth sultry tone together with her passionate performance of her originals and funky covers leaves you with a sense of wonderment....... Esther leaves nothing out…
Check out this Fat Freddy's Drop remix from Young Gifted And Broke super producer Haz'Beats. Abe did a bunch guitars on it (the remix), which where Hazified into something strange and wondrous. It also features some delectable bass playing from the G.O.A.T. Chip Matthews. Free DL if you dig.
Slow beat swing remix by Haz from Team Dynamite & Homebrew, New Zealand's hottest hip-hop acts. Bones original features on Blackbird album released in 2013.
Yo! This Saturday we will be doing this little for RockEnrol thing at The Studio alongside OPTIMUS GRYME, Midnight Gallery, Hotboxed Treehut :), Badcrop, and our brother Isaac Aesili. Its Free, but you have to RSVP. See you there! PS, you have enrolled haven't you?