Posts tagged ‘rock indiana records’
August 13, 2019
by Chris Familton
An eternal source of subject matter for songwriters across the ages is the heartache and pain, confusion and resolve that comes from the fracturing of a relationship. On album number six scheduled for release on August 23, Sydney singer-songwriter Bryan Estepa tackles universal themes with his trademark melodicism, emotive lyrics and ear for classic arrangements.
The two bookends of Estepa’s sound are power-pop and alt-country. Between them is a strong streak of indie rock, the sonic glue and attitude that completes his timeless sound. The influence of Tom Petty, You Am I, The Beatles, Wilco and The Jayhawks blend with Hall & Oates and Elliott Smith, resulting in introspective songs conveyed through exuberant and emotive guitar pop melodies.
Estepa co-produced the album with Josh Schuberth during recording sessions at En-domusia Studios in the Blue Mountains and Love HZ Studios in Sydney, featuring Estepa’s band – Russell Crawford (drums/vox), Brian Crouch (keys), Dave Hatt (guitar), Dave Keys (bass). Having played with this band for seven years, this was the first time they’d all recorded a proper album together. You can hear it too. The synchronicity and spirit in their playing, serving the songs and elevating their impact and resonance.
“I feel so lucky to be playing alongside these unbelievably talented mates of mine and even though my name is upfront, this is a BAND. Being in a band is the best thing anyone can do! It is important for me for this band to leave a musical imprint on my music. They treat my songs with a lot of respect and bring it to life the way I could never do by myself.”
1. I’m Not Ready For This
2. Rattled and Rolled
3. Like The Cruel
4. Another Kind of Madness
5. No Ordinary
7. Drawn Like Magnets
8. Anything and Everything
10. Measure Of A Man
The album title, Sometimes I Just Don’t Know, encapsulates what Estepa wanted to address on the album’s ten songs.
“The title is a statement I guess I wanted to make about the unpredictability of life and what it throws and brings to us. I think that’s the beauty and challenges to it as well. We don’t always have the answers and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. We gotta navigate through it in our own way and that’s when I believe the best comes out of us.”
Watch the Official Music Video of “I’m Not Ready For This”
Opening track and infectious single ‘I’m Not Ready For This’ has already caught the attention of radio programmers, including ABC Melbourne, Spotify playlist creators and music fans who helped it reach #13 on the iTunes Australia Singer-Songwriter chart. Mu-sic journalist Bernard Zuel described it as “very fine indeed… a dark-centered pop pleasure”.
Elsewhere on the album, ‘No Ordinary’ channels The Cars with glorious harmonies, ‘Granted’ is a solemn and soulful paean to the fading memories of the early bloom of new love and the ensuing drifting apart of two souls. ‘Another Kind Of Madness’ has an intro worthy of Jeff Tweedy before blossoming into a widescreen 60s guitar-led reverie. ‘Rattled & Rolled’ is wrapped up in rich chord changes and the colorful keys of Michael Carpenter who played on and produced the song.
“I saw a lot of Autumn colors when writing these tunes. My favorite seasons are the transitional ones, where you get the best of both worlds and kind of excited and nervous at what is up ahead.”
Born in Cubao, Quezon City in the Philippines, Estepa and his family moved to Sydney, Australia in 1987. It was there, at the age of 15, that he began to pursue the craft of songwriting before starting his adult musical journey fronting indie-pop band Swivel in the late-90s pub scene. He recorded his inaugural CD with the band, which paved the way for his solo career. A year of traveling across the USA and performing at open mic nights inspired songs for his debut EP, Start Again in 2003. Since then Estepa has re-leased five solo albums (All The Bells And Whistles, Sunday Best, Vessels, Heart Vs Mind and Every Little Thing).
Over his career, Estepa has performed shows in the USA, London, England, Spain, the Philippines, Sweden, and Australia.
“Sometimes I Just Don’t Know” drops on August 23 on all digital stores. Also available on limited CD and Vinyl. Pre-Order on Bandcamp or iTunes.
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May 19, 2016
Announcing the worldwide release of acclaimed indie singer-songwriter Bryan Estepa’s fifth studio album, ‘Every Little Thing.’
One of Sydney, Australia’s best-kept secrets, Estepa has reached a new level of maturity as a songwriter with this carefully-crafted collection of songs that holds the power to lift the heaviest heart with lyrics that are simple but wise, and melodies that are catchy but thoughtfully composed.
Growing up in a musical family in Quezon City, Philippines, Estepa’s ears were filled with the sounds of The Eagles, Simon & Garfunkel and 60’s Rock and Roll. After his family moved to Australia when he was nine, he went from being a budding songwriter at age 15 to growing a strong following in Spain and across Europe. Cutting his teeth on the Sydney 90’s pub scene as a member of a local band, his recording career blossomed, taking him across the USA and Europe, and earning him respectable indie radio play – especially in Spain, Sweden and London, England and parts of the East Coast, USA and festival invitations. In 2015, Estepa toured Europe including London, England, Spain and Sweden, while writing songs for his latest album, ‘Every Little Thing.’
His musical influences are across the map, ranging from Muddy Waters to 90’s Alternative music and Hall & Oates, but his constant go-to artists are The Beatles and their respective solo projects, Neil Young, The Beach Boys, The Band, You Am I, and Elliott Smith. The Beatles are very evident in the sound of “Every Little Thing, ” especially in songs like ‘Count Your Blessings’ and ‘Object of My Disaffection’ with catchy, repeating melodies well-balanced with complex harmonies. Likened to a cross between Alt-Country and Power Pop, Estepa calls himself simply a singer-songwriter, citing more recent inspirations as Brian Wilson, Ryan Adams and Wilco, the latter of which, incidentally, would be one of Estepa’s dream collaborators. The other would have been the late great Beatle, George Harrison.
Despite many years of recording and touring, Estepa says, “It’s only really in the last couple of years that I think I’m finding my feet in this craft and a sense of me as a songwriter.”
He says his songs come from everywhere and at anytime, inspired by life and friends, and now that he is a father, his family. “Just recently,” he said, “I wrote my first song for my very young kids. More a conversation on the realities of life ahead, rather than a straight declaration of my love for them.”
Currently Estepa is working with two talented Sydney musicians who call themselves The Tempe Two, consisting of Dave Keys on bass, and Russell Crawford on drums. While they often back him for performances and for recordings, Estepa continues to perform as a solo artist.
His strongest feat of songwriting to date, ‘Every Little Thing’ holds appeal for anyone seeking a satisfying listening experience of thoughtful lyrics, memorable melodies and rich layers of well-rendered harmonies.
Watch the music video to the introductory single “Object Of My Disaffection”
Every Little Thing by Bryan Estepa & The Tempe Two is available in major digital stores and streaming sites worldwide under Lilystars Records and in CD format under Rock Indiana Records.