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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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If YouTube is your thing, you can subscribe to our channel here and be first in when we drop our vid for 'Light In You'. We're also gunna be releasing some exclusive live footage and other treats in coming weeks, so stay tuned. Thanks to NZ On Air Music and Tim D Film!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDSLGeuh8otrOr8mbF4sRFQ
Esther Stephens & The Means 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.
In today's nzherald.co.nz Canvas Magazine Esther chats about life & creative pursuits, including our recent album release and WW1 miniseries #WhenWeGoToWar which debuts tomorrow night 8.30pm on TV One.
http://m.nzherald.co.nz/canvas-magazine/news/article.cfm?c_id=532&objectid=11436692
Music was such a given in Esther Stephens' home that taking up acting was almost an act of rebellion. - New Zealand Herald
To celebrate the release of our self-titled debut album, we’re hitting the road for five shows around NZ over the month of May. We’re excited be to joined by a selection of musical acts including Wellington's Drax Project and Young Gifted And Broke beat maker Haz Beats. See you there!
https://www.facebook.com/events/410384249141355/

To celebrate the release of their self-titled debut album, Esther Stephens & The Means are hitting the road for five shows around NZ. The band will be joined by a selection of musical acts including Wellington's Drax Project and Auckland beat maker Haz Beats.

Esther Stephens & The Means 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. 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, 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).

Dates:

May 8th - Christchurch
Dux Live w/ Drax Project
Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/827406937351927/

May 9th - Queenstown
The Sherwood

May 22nd - Auckland
The Tuning Fork w/ Drax Project & Haz Beats
Pre-sales: http://www.ticketmaster.co.nz/event/24004E96C1791CAE

May 23rd - Napier
Crab Farm Winery w/ Tropical Downbeat Orchestra
Limited pre-sales: www.crabfarmwinery.co.nz

May 31st - Wellington
Meow w/ Lydia

Can't make it to a store today for a physical copy of the Red Bull Sound Select vinyl? Never fear! We got you covered with a full FREE digital download available today only for Record Store Day!
https://soundcloud.com/redbullsoundselect/sets/record-store-day-12-lp-1-day
The Red Bull Sound Select 12" LP ft. 4 unique artists has hit the web. Grab the limited chance to download these tracks free for 24 hours. If you didn't cop the vinyl in store, or aren't lucky enough
Our first ever vinyl release is out tomorrow for Record Store Day!!! The good people at Red Bull Studios have put together a limited edition #SoundSelect EP which will be available tomorrow in twelve cult record stores around New Zealand. Our lucky top 50 fans on Red Bull Sound Select will be contacted shortly for special delivery, and in store get in early as it's first come first served!
http://bit.ly/19kifc2
RED BULL SOUND SELECT MEETS RECORD STORE DAY! LIMITED EDITION 12” EP RELEASE FOR FANS | | Red Bull Sound Select
Much love to the peeps over at Base FM for making 'Heartbeat' Tune Of The Week. You guys are the best!
https://soundcloud.com/estherstephens_themeans/05-heartbeat-feat-hone-be-good
Listen to Heartbeat Feat. Hone Be Good by Esther Stephens+The Means #np on #SoundCloud

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