It took Chicago songwriter Anna Holmquist some time to concoct a full-band realization of the sounds whirling around in their head. In 2017, with the help of friends and frequent collaborators, they formed Ester, a moniker through which Holmquist is able to explore the consequences and opportunities laid out through various major life changes; it also provided a means for them to examine past experiences in order to guide current personal development.
Filtered through an affection for assorted synth-pop and electronic aesthetics, their music is often euphoric, though at times intensely introspective. Their debut record, Turn Around, is due out March 27 via Midwest Action.
Decked out in twilit rhythms buoyed by immersive synths and mesmeric vocals, their new single, “Lock Me Up,” is a fairly brief but persuasive bit of 3 a.m. pop. This is the soundtrack for those times after the dancefloor is empty, but when you don’t really want to leave yet – when there’s still some emotional spirit to embrace as the bodies begin to thin out. Recalling the dusky works of M83 and Chromatics, it’s a compact synthesis of malleable melodicism that settles down deep into the lower parts of your subconscious.