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Canadian Singer/Songwriter Esthero Signs with Universal Music Canada; First Single Due June 5th

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Canadian Singer/Songwriter Esthero Signs with Universal Music Canada; First Single Due June 5th


It brings me great pleasure to announce that Canadian singer/songwriter Esthero is BACK with a new single, album AND record label.  Esthero's SNAPPY new single, entitled "Never Gonna Let You Go," was serviced to radio on May 31st and will be available to download on June 5th, along with "remixes for you to dance yer butt off to," according to the talented singer/songwriter via her Facebook page.  SCORE! I'm still jamming along to Esthero's "Fastlane" and "O.G. Bitch," so the prospect of some new bangin' mixes has me all hot and bothered!

Written and produced by Esthero and Adam 12 (She Wants Revenge) in Los Angeles, the infectious single is the first to be the first taken from Esthero's upcoming third album, Everything Is Expensive.  To call this album "highly anticipated" would be a gross understatement as far as I'm concerned.  

Esthero Never Gonna Let You Go

Her last album, 2005's Wikked Lil' Grrrls (Warner Bros. Records/Reprise) still has me boppin' in my seat every time I pop it in.  Featuring soulful pop tunes like "Everyday Is A Holiday (With You)," the Cee-Lo Green-assisted "Gone," "Fastlane" and of course the SLAMMIN' title track, Wikked Lil' Grrrls became one of my favorite albums from the 2000s.  Unfortunately, most critics disagreed and the album was a flop. After releasing the album's final single and Esthero's second Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Chart, "Fastlane," the singer took a break, showing up as a featured vocalist here and there and writing for other artists.  Now, rejuvenated and re-engerized, Esthero is BACK to throw down on the charts and I couldn't be happier with this first little teaser of what's to come.

I was first introduced to Esthero's music in 2003 when my manager at Banana Republic was raving about her 1998 debut, Breath From Another.  Upon borrowing her copy, I too was smitten and it's been a wet and wild love affair ever since.  Back when it was released in the late 90s, Breath From Another was a breath of fresh air into the electronic music genre.  Featuring Esthero's stirring and soulful vocals, backed by luscious live AND digital instrumentation, Breath From Another was, in many ways, revolutionary.  While the album did not chart, it wound up selling over 250,000 copies worldwide, including 118,000 in the U.S.  In her native Canada, Breath From Another went Gold, selling over 50,000 copies.


Following a "creative moratorium," Esthero released her follow up in 2006.  Vastly more mainstream and radio friendly than her debut, Wikked Lil' Grrrls had a lot of buzz surrounding it, thanks in large part to the album's title track which was prominently featured in a promo for the sudsy ABC drama Desperate Housewives as well as on a couple of movie soundtracks.  Unfortunately, aside from a Top 5 dance hit, the album was yet another relative chart failure.  The album also was a bit of a creative cluster f*** for the artist.  Wikked Lil' Girls was "the aftermath of emotional turmoil for Esthero, brought on by major label demands coupled with recurring heartache."  According to the singer,
"I had no plans of releasing another record to be honest.  I just really had no passion and no idea. I was born knowing what I wanted to do and born with all this passion about it, but I had just arrived at this place where I was tired and uninspired and had no desire to do music. It's like I was in some sort of limbo..."
Well, I think I speak for all of us when I express how excited and lucky we are to have her back.  There appears to have been more at play than simply the major label's creative stifling and the subsequent album's commercial failure, but Esthero clearly found her inspiration again and decided to make some new music. Hallelujah!

Everything Is Expensive will be Esthero's "most fluid and personal album to date," which sounds exactly like the kind of album she needs to put out now.  Given her past experience at a major label, one would assume that Universal Canada has been pretty generous and accommodating to the Ontario-born singer/songwriter.  You wouldn't think that an artist, fresh off one bad major label experience, would be so eager to jump back into the game without guarantees and promises.  While Esthero admits to fighting the urge to be creative again, she ultimately couldn't resist the new album that was forming in her brain.

According to the bio, Everything Is Expensive took only a few weeks to write but three years to records, thanks mostly to studio time constraints.  Throughout the recording process, Esthero was also flying to Hawaii to assist in writing Kanye West's experimental, Platinum-selling 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak (including the chart-topping "Love Lockdown").  This of course wouldn't be the first or last time Esthero has collaborated with another artist, either as a co-writer, featured vocalist or both. Other prominent collaborations over the years include The Black Eyed Peas, Andre 3000, Sean Lennon, Mos Def, Nelly Furtado and K'Naan.

Esthero also jumped into the studio with Brandy, assisting with the writing duties on her criminally underrated Human album, and sang two songs off of Timbaland's Shock Value 2.  It was actually an earlier version of her upcoming single, "Never Gonna Let You Go" that impressed Timbaland so much that he asked her to feature on his new album.  The very same song impressed Kanye so much that he asked her to play the voice of J.A.N.E. on his Glow In The Dark Tour.  Says Esthero of the song, "It was the catalyst of so much shit for me, and it hadn't even been released." It seemed inevitable that it would become the first single.


The new record has been described as "an amalgam of sounds," seamlessly weaving "tales of heartbreak, triumph and everything in between, crafting one cohesive experience."  Esthero calls Everything Is Expensive the "easiest one I've ever made and the most fun to make."  In addition to delving deeper and more personally into Esthero "the songwriter," the album shows her tremendous growth as a producer.  
"My favorite common compliment on this album has been from other producers/mixers/audiofiles, who'd note that while this is a more organic album, my drums and bass still knock; it's my lobe for hip hop. It's like my roots are showing and I love that."
While sonically, Everything Is Expensive is "primarily unplugged," Esthero isn't turning her back on the genre that gave her her start.  In addition to remixes (which will be released on Tuesday, along with the single) Esthero has hinted at a follow-up album with more of an electronic edge to it.  For now, though, the focus is on the storytelling, and from the sound of it, Esthero has a lot of stories to tell. 
"My dream right now is to get to Nashville, writing and producing for other people. And then, when I have something else to say, I'll release another album."
I'm beyond happy to see Esthero's creative juices flowing once again and BEYOND thrilled that next week we'll have new Esthero music to enjoy.  Listen to "Never Gonna Let You Go" BELOW (in both clean & explicit versions) and check out Esthero featured on Rye Rye's new theme song to the recent film, 21 Jump Street. The O.G. Bitch is BACK!

Are you guys as excited as I am about Esthero's return?

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Anonymous Phil Englishman said...

Thank you for posting this. The CD will be released October 30th.

October 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for your comment AND for the album's release date! So excited! Looking forward to getting my signed copy :-)

October 11, 2012 at 12:35 PM  

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