CATALOG NO: CAV011
FORMAT: 12” vinyl / CD / digital
Limited editions of 250 on deep blue transparent vinyl and 250 on transparent orange vinyl
Ester Drang's Velvet-Draped Space-Rock Returns 'From The Ruins': "Noise buzzes underneath a piano melody set to infinite sustain, and a slow-motion ripple of synths and slide guitar emanate from the center, growing in sound yet never quite overpowering the…velvet-draped beauty."
— Lars Gotrich, NPR Music / All Songs Considered
“This first release in 12 years shuns the softer styles of 2006’s alt-rocking Rocinate and 2003’s atmospheric Infinite Keys in favor of the speakers-deluging, dense-as-forests shoegaze that speckled 2001’s second LP Goldenwest… A pulverizing, propulsive cover of Starflyer 59’s “2nd Space Song” capped bay Chambers’ debonair croon, clinches this stirring comeback.”
— The Big Takeover
“Ester Drang return after a 12-year hiatus with more stunning, expansive cosmic psych.”
alumni of the legendary Jade Tree record label
reformed recently after being invited by Ian McCulloch to join Echo and the Bunnymen on tour
original members Bryce Chambers and Kyle Winner now joined by Tommy McKenzie (Stardeath and White Dwarfs) and Hank Hanewinkel III (Nuns)
features contributions from James McAlister (original member, now plays with Sufjan Stevens, the National, etc.) and Nathan Price (BRONCHO)
opening track “From The Ruins” recently premiered on NPR’s All Songs Considered
Celebrated post-rock band Ester Drang will release a new EP, “The Appearances,” October 26, 2018, on Oklahoma City independent record label Clerestory AV. The combination vinyl, CD and digital release will be the band’s first in 12 years.
Original members Bryce Chambers (songwriter and multi-instrumentalist) and Kyle Winner (bass) have returned for the band’s reformation, with Ester Drang’s signature lush, atmospheric sound bolstered by Tommy McKenzie (NET, Stardeath and White Dwarfs) and Hank Hanewinkel III (Nuns, Native Lights).
“The Appearances” is a half hour of the expansive, effects-laden songcraft on which Ester Drang built its dedicated following, but it also demonstrates marked growth—developed over time spent in interim bands, on the road as a quartet with English rock band Echo and the Bunnymen and through a long recording process both at Chambers’ home studio and in sessions across the country—for a band in its second era.
Chambers credits the Bunnymen tours for sparking the Ester Drang flame after such a long hiatus. He described working on the new music as “like seeing an old friend that you haven't seen in years. Just a rush of old memories come back, and you sit a while, catch up on life and become friends yet again.”
In addition to the new lineup, a number of notable musicians with Oklahoma connections appear, including: James McAlister (founding drummer of Ester Drang who has worked with Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, the National and more), cellist Jon Paul Pope and Nathan Price of BRONCHO.
“I've been a fan of Ester Drang since their first record release show in 1999,” said Clerestory AV owner Chris Stellman. “They were the first local band I saw break out of the Oklahoma music scene and receive acclaim on a national level. I knew they'd been playing some shows again after a long hiatus, and I and reached out to Bryce about working together. I was thrilled when he replied about doing an EP. I honestly think this is the best music they've ever made, and I'm honored to be working with them.”
The track list includes “The Union,” originally released in July 2017 as a pre-tour single, and a cover of influential shoegaze band Starflyer 59’s “2nd Space Song.” Ester Drang will perform a release show for “The Appearances” in Oklahoma City on October 27, with additional dates to follow.
— Becky Carman
Photos by Ryan Magnani.