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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On a quick Throwback Sunday thing (is that a thing?) before we release the next generation of our music, these cool peeps just used 'Heavy Trigger Finger' off 'The Ends EP' as the soundtrack for this hoverscope camera demo with a dude called Lukey Luke doing some stunt riding. FYI this tune actually features chopped up bits of Esther's vocals from 'Love Me Not' off the same EP.
KTM Stunt Rider Lukey Luke at the Australian Motoring Festival. Hoverscope captured the rubber flying from every angle.
The first look at When We Go To War on TV One has been released! This was a beautiful, moving project and it was such a privilege to play feisty Miss Bea Smith. Can't wait for you to see it! Esther x #WWGTW
We're excited to give you the FIRST look at the new landmark series coming soon! #WWGTW
It's official! We're super stoked to announce the release of our self-titled debut album 9th April 2015. And if you just can't wait, our first single Heartbeat ft. Hone Be Good is available for you to check out on bandcamp. Much love, ESTM x
Heartbeat feat. Hone Be Good by Esther Stephens & The Means, released 24 November 2014
Hey frunds, just a wee heads up that you REALLY should consider getting over to our Sound Select page and following us on there. We can't say why just yet, but we promise it'll be worth it and it has something to do with something that rhymes with Lionel.
Red Bull Sound Select Presents | Esther Stephens & The Means | Esther Stephens & The Means. Alt Pop/Hip Hop/Neo Soul. Flaming Lips meets J Dilla meets Etta James.
Kendrick Lamar status update number 100,000,000,000. Soooooo damn good though! OW!
K. Dot's politically-charged album is availble on iTunes.