Australian alt-pop phenomenon E^ST has developed of sound & style that is as enchanting as it is enthralling. Nowhere is this better established than in her eclectic debut album ‘I’M DOING IT’.
Stream: “Talk Deep” – E^ST
Whether she’s dwelling in the depths of isolation, reckoning with loss, nursing an aching heart, or even celebrating a crush, Australia’s E^ST has emerged as a stunning alt-pop force over the past decade. The musical moniker for South Africa-born, Central Coast-based Melisa Bester has developed of sound and style that is as enchanting as it is enthralling, and nowhere is this better established than in her eclectic debut album I’M DOING IT.
Something about you makes me feel hectic
We’re in your room, it’s so electric
I’m really glad we left the party
I’m really glad you wanna keep talking
I don’t want sleep, I wanna talk deep all night
You light a joint and we both smoke it
You make a point, I think you’re joking
We’re kinda close, you move in closer
Don’t wanna go, think I’ll stay over
I don’t want sleep, I wanna talk deep all night
You’re looking at me and I can’t believe my eyes
Lying in your bed, we’re losing track of time
You say what’s in your head, I say what’s on my mind
I’m already stoned, you’re getting me higher
Little do you know you’re setting me on fire
– “Talk Deep,” E^ST
Released August 3rd via Warner Music Australia / Fueled by Ramen, I’M DOING IT is a refreshingly unique full-length offering from an artist who creates without boundaries, defies all expectation, and has walked to the beat of her own drum for six highly prolific years. Working with her “musical soulmate” Jim Eliot (Ellie Goulding, Anne-Marie, Halsey), E^ST’s first full-length is as catchy as it is eccentric – an intimate, quirky, unapologetically vulnerable and endlessly exhilarating musical journey into the 22-year-old’s mind and heart.
I’M DOING IT takes listeners on a redemptive adventure from heartbreak and sadness, to self-love, acceptance, hope, and cheer.
Its songs tackle classic young adult topics of self-discovery, romance, purpose and place through a mature lens. E^ST adopts both a self-knowing and self-indulgent perspective, reeling through the throes of life and coming out the other side with the scars to show for it. Tracks like “Get Through,” “I’m Not Funny Anymore,” the aching lament “Fresh Out Of Love,” and the album’s poignant opener “Fit for Company” put E^ST’s struggle on full display as lets her emotions spill out in song. These moments of haunting tenderness come to life with raw, vivid honesty:
Took me to meet your mother
I know your favorite color
You know what I’ve been listening to
Everything was music around you
We spent our days by the seaside
You only saw me in good light
We spent our nights by the seashore
Now I don’t know where you sleep anymore
We both lived under the flight path
Watching the people fly past, but
Then you moved away
And now I watch the planes
– “Flight Path,” E^ST
At her most heartbreaking, lowest points, E^ST delivers an entrancing and dynamic rush of feeling. At her highest highs, she’s an inimitable and buoyant phenomenon. Her upbeat single “Talk Deep” is an easy and obvious standout whose vibrant energy and feverish spunk will enhance even the dullest of days: With nearly 4 million Spotify streams and counting, “Talk Deep” earns the title of I’M DOING IT‘s runaway hit single – yet it is far from the record’s only memorable moment. The soulful and intimate “Walking Home in the Rain” is a delicate rainy day tune that turns its own frown upside down in an impassioned, seismic chorus. Elsewhere, the no-holds-barred punkish tune “Maybe It’s Me” finds the artist in a feverish frenzy – and the penultimate track “I Wanna Be Here” soars with an upward embrace of life and being.
E^ST tackles a wealth of sounds, styles, and subjects on an inward-facing record that dares you to dive in deep.
I’M DOING IT is ready to be the soundtrack to your darkest nights and brightest days. Its genre-fluid music is as intimate as it is universal, each song forever enshrining E^ST and all her stellar idiosyncrasies in a singular debut that lives in and for the moment. Experience the full record via the below stream, and peek inside E^ST’s I’M DOING IT with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her debut album!
Stream: “I’M DOING IT” – E^ST
:: Inside I’M DOING IT ::
Fit for Company
I wrote this song on Garageband in my bedroom one night. In the song, I talk to my pain and trauma as if it’s a person, and I ask it to leave me alone because I’m not up for having it around anymore, yet wondering if it would even make a difference.
Flight Path was the first song Jim Eliot and I wrote together for this album. It was a sunny day in Sydney, and I think the sun found its way into the song. Although it sounds so fun and upbeat, the lyrics tell a story of losing someone in your life, and doing all the things you used to do together on your own.
Maybe It’s Me
I had this chorus stuck in my head for ages, and had a really clear idea of how I wanted the song to feel. I expressed that to Jim, and within minutes we had the beat, bass line and lead synth down. The rest of the song just fell in place from there. I wanted to write a song that laughed at feeling like a loser, maybe as a way to make it a little easier to admit.
This song was written on a rainy day in Jim’s little Welsh town. I was really inspired by the sound we created for this song, so a lot of the lyrics and melodies took its cue from the sonic world Jim was building. This is one of the most emotional sounding songs on the record to me.
Fresh Out Of Love
This song started with the title line, and it was so easy to work from there. Those words had such a classic feeling to me, and we ended up listening to “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” by The Righteous Brothers and drawing a lot of inspiration for the song from that era of music. Something that strikes me about a lot of those old love songs is how direct and simple they are, and I really wanted this song to be nothing more and nothing less than what it was.
I’m Not Funny Anymore
I wrote this song a couple weeks before starting the rest of the album with Jim. Writing this song was really eye opening for me personally. It’s about realising someone isn’t interested in you anymore. And that’s a really hard truth to face. The whole track is one take of me singing and playing piano at the same time. I wanted the recording to feel as honest as the song was trying to be.
This was one of the last songs that got written for the album. I realised there was a story to the album, that the songs changed in tone the more I grew as a person. So I wanted to write a song that signaled that change in tone. The song is almost like a mantra. Almost like you’re convincing yourself that a change is possible. This was another one take recording with me singing and playing guitar.
Talk Deep is probably the most fun song on the album. We’d been tucked away in this studio hiding from the rain for weeks, writing sad song after sad song, and I think we really just wanted a day to break away from that and dance around a bit. I was getting back in the zone of crushing on people, and this song was my attempt at bottling those fizzy feelings.
No One with You
I was listening to heaps of emo music when I was making the album, and I think some of those influences found its way into this song. I wanted it to feel a bit trashy, kinda like how a rebound can feel sometimes (which is what this song is about). And I really wanted to write the pop-iest song I could. So I think it has a super fun feeling to it, but there’s definitely an undertone of sadness.
Walking Home in the Rain
I wrote this song on what was meant to be a day off from the studio. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon and I was kinda sick. The song is a pretty literal retelling of a night I’d had a couple months before. I went to a friend’s party in an attempt to get out of my head, but being there just made it worse. I left without saying goodbye to anyone, and after missing the bus home, I decided to walk. It was raining and I was pretty miserable, I was listening to music but I was really numb to it. But then about halfway home, “Virile” by The Blaze came on, and as the song slowly builds my spirits started to rise as well, and by the end of the song it was like I was in a euphoric state, which lasted all the way home.
I wrote this song 3 days after a breakup. It wasn’t a nice breakup, and I think I had a lot of anger in me about how I’d been treated. Writing this song felt like an act of defiance, and it was the anthem that I needed at the time. After writing it on my mum’s 100 year old piano, I took it to Garageband and made a really simple demo with the piano, and like a drum and bass inspired breakbeat. Once I got Jim involved on the song, it went through a lot of different iterations, but in the end it ended up sounding pretty similar to that first demo.
I Wanna Be Here
This is another song that I wrote because I needed to hear it at the time. I was going through a rough time, and was really struggling to feel connected to the world. By writing this song, I was writing a little bit of hope into my life… Saying that it’s ok that you’re not ok right now, but hey there’s always something new to try, so keep trying. This song came together so quickly, and I was filled with new life when we were writing it.
I’m Doing It
I actually wrote “I’m Doing It’ probably a year before starting the album. Around the time of writing it, I’d been doing heaps of co-writing sessions and collaborations, and was starting to lose confidence in my abilities to just write on my own. This song was an attempt to prove myself to myself, and it did. The song’s about realising your own potential, and despite feeling like you needed someone/something else to manage in the past, you now know how capable you are of handling shit. This is probably the most important song to me on the album, and it seemed like the perfect sentiment to end on.
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? © Rene Vaile
:: Stream E^ST ::