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ESTHER STEPHENS & THE MEANS

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

Tracks

Under You

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Uncle Vanya underway at The Court Theatre!
https://instagram.com/p/BSuoeWuFt54/
18 Likes, 1 Comments - The Court Theatre (@courttheatrenz) on Instagram: “The cast of Uncle Vanya arrived at The Court yesterday and jumped straight into a table read.…”
Really excited to be a part of the upcoming season of Uncle Vanya at The Court Theatre. Can't wait to start work with this talented team in Christchurch!
https://courttheatre.org.nz/show/uncle-vanya/
By Anton Chekhov A new version by Annie Baker Directed by Shane Bosher Featuring Stephen Lovatt For years, Vanya and his niece Sonya have laboured on their family’s country estate in relative harmony. But when Sonya’s father returns from the big city with a glamorous new bride, unfulfilled desires a...
This past weekend was absolutely magic, marrying my dear love, surrounded by our beautiful friends and family. #LoveRocks <3
https://www.instagram.com/p/BSYFgWihqpu/
0 Likes, 1 Comments - Esther Stephens (@estherstephens) on Instagram: “Down the aisle, and into a native forest glade full of friends, family & my love. Yesterday was a…”
I get way too excited about coffee, and Mojo Coffee made us a signature Respect blend!
https://www.facebook.com/Aklfestival/videos/1666720060023281/
Straight from rehearsal for RESPECT, the gorgeous Esther Stephens & Annie Crummer stopped by to take a Mojo Coffee Moment with us. Along with Bella Kalolo & Aaradhna, these four world-class performers are treating the Spiegeltent audience to a night they will never forget. Show's tonight & tomorrow - but get in quick. Buy Now: bit.ly/2jXcmrB Thanks to Fantail Films NZ
Respect opened last night and what a buzz!!! There are still a few tickets left for tonight so get in quick! Earlier this week we had a chat with RNZ about the process of putting the show together.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/nat-music/audio/201837554/getting-the-'respect'-she-deserves
'Queen of Soul' Aretha Franklin gets the Respect she deserves from four of New Zealand's best soul singers: Annie Crummer, Bella Kalolo, Esther Stephens and Aaradhna.
Our Auckland Arts Festival show Respect is getting close! I had a chat to nzherald.co.nz about my uncontainable excitement. Grab your tickets now! 🤗

https://www.aucklandlive.co.nz/show/respect#tickets-times
http://m.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11813355
It's easily one of the standouts of the Auckland Arts Festival. Aaradhna, Bella Kalolo, Annie Crummer and Esther Stephens singing the songs of Aretha Franklin accompanied by the swinging - New Zealand Herald

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