BRYAN ESTEPA: ‘Sunday Best’
Bryan Estepa is no stranger to Sydney’s music scene. He has served his time in indie bands such as Swivel (1998-2000) and Hazey Jane (2004-2005), as well as having a dabble on his lonesome with an EP released under the moniker Adeline (2003). In 2006 though he went all out singer-songwriter with his debut solo album ‘All The Bells And Whistles.’ Full of catchy, breezy pop with an alt country slant the response the album received were, according to Estepa, way above and beyond all of his expectations.
There were the universally glowing reviews for starters, with the album landing firmly in Top Ten Best Of lists as far away as the US and Spain. In fact, so successful was the album in Spain that Estepa signed to the respected Rock Indiana Records label there and did a national tour. An invite to play the 2007 International Pop Overthrow Festival in New York also resulted into his first foray and shows in America. Not that he was neglected at home, as he enjoyed regular airplay on Australian radio stations Triple J, FBi, 2SER, ABC Radio to name a few. The jangly pop of ‘Right Now’ also featured in an episode of one of Australia’s biggest TV show’s ‘Bondi Rescue. The Australian press raved about the album, consistently using phrases such as “delightfully listenable” and “captivating pop.” Estepa finished 2007 by being listed in Sydney’s Drum Media as one of their top artists to watch in the next year.
That accolade is fully justified with the release of Estepa’s second solo album Sunday Best, self-produced with assistance from Dan Nash. A fitting follow on, it places the pop heart of All The Bells And Whistles in an even bigger expanse of sounds and moods. Describing it as a snapshot of where his life is right now, particularly after all the experiences from the previous record, he has also managed to instil his own identity in his music. With a fresh organic air throughout, Estepa was inspired by what he calls his eternal search to find that killer melody and hook. When you hear the way the gentle beauty of the title track suddenly bursts into some glorious pop it’s clear he has over achieved in that regard.
The whirling organ of the instantly catchy Different With You is pure summer pop; Roses, with its oh-so-wide chorus is a cheeky romp and the manic moment of the energetic Myself is I See Red for a new generation. Things are a little gentler with Skipping Days which has a hint of country about it and the heart tugging Worry Me More. I’m Going perhaps best demonstrates Estepa’s emergence as one of the best songwriters on the scene with its well crafted structure and freefall ending.
Sunday Best is Estepa’s best work yet. Any day of the week.
Paul Smith – June 2008
Sunday Best available 5th July 2008 (Popboomerang Records)
- Aches and Shakes
- Different with you
- Carl Wilson
- I’m Going
- Skipping days
- Worry me none
- Second Guess
- Sunday Best
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