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Biography

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

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Watching Nai Palm do this tune solo was pretty breathtaking (no lame pun intended), but as a group, Hiatus Kaiyote just lifted it up another level again. Its scary how good these guys are.
http://www.thefader.com/2015/03/03/breathing-underwater-hiatus-kaiyote
The Australian soul band channels Stevie with inspired results.
Feeling like you need more culture in ya life? Make sure you get along to the Young Gifted And Broke opening this Saturday, live painting and performances by our friends RaizaBiza & Third3ye.
/events/446595415488531/

With Live painting and musical performances from the YGB crew.

Young Gifted and Broke is a crew of over 40 prolific artists working in a range of creative disciplines that will be exhibiting in the Franklin Arts Centre from 28 February- 18 April

"We choose to work on our art, we choose to be broke." Tom Scott

To whom it may concern, we have this specific Red Bull Sound Select page. We've never been big on the spammy 'like this follow that' type buzz, however there are a bunch of rad things coming up in the near future and we can only hook up fans who follow us on this platform. It only takes a sec, and we promise it will be worth your while. Up to you though :)
Also, enjoy a picture of RaizaBiza sitting on a car...
https://www.redbullsoundselect.com/artists/estherstephensandthemeans
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.
Here's a first taste of TV3's new season including Westside (Outrageous Fortune & Westside) see if you can spot young Ngaire aka Esther Stephens :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LE8xjzyjFn4
Featured are The X Factor NZ, The Bachelor NZ, Top Gear, MasterChef NZ, The Block NZ, Grand Designs NZ, Westside and Paul Henry All on TV3 in 2015
Here's a little feature the good peeps at SNIFFERS did on a tune Abe and MeloDownz (Third3ye) made. Currently up for free DL so get amongst if you dig it...
http://sniffers.co.nz/melodownz-tell-prod-abraham-kunin/
Following the humble release of his debut Beginner's Luck LP, Auckland local MeloDownz spits out a brand new track produced by Abraham Kunin from The Means. This has topped any release we've heard MeloDownz on, with lurking production, and the spook of his vocal haunting the entirety of the track.
Esther had a yak to Red Bulletin about her top lady vocalists. You can check out her big inspirations and favourites here! Red Bull Sound Select #soundselect #breakmusic
http://www.redbulletin.com/nz/en/culture/girl-power-esther-stephens-top-five-female-vocalists
Esther Stephens’ Top 5 Female Vocalists

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