Melbourne ensemble ESESE have dropped double single 'Slow Down / Home' featuring their familiar laid-back neo-soul sound with an electronic twist.
ESESE, better known as the Eastern Seaboard Electric Soul Ensemble, have dropped 'Slow Down / Home', a double single of delicious neo-soul that perfectly represents the multi-faceted 8-piece hailing from Melbourne.
Following their selection as a Triple J Unearthed Feature artist at the end of 2015, the octet dropped their debut EP, Act 1: Hancoq and quickly continued their success with energetic live shows across Australia, including St. Jerome's Laneway Festival in 2016. This year saw the release of 'Far', a smooth-as-butter exploration of stripped back hip hop and soul.
'Slow Down' features vocals from past collaborator Cazeaux O.S.L.O, and is a delightfully simple bop with more elements of pop and disco than listeners may be used to. That said, the ensemble still makes frequent use of snappy saxophone hooks that blend perfectly with the warm keys and warped synths. It's a strange mix that shouldn't work as well as it does - as half step hats pulse over a four-to-the-floor kick, multiple layers of improvised sax filter in and out, harking back to the group's RnB roots with a little bit of disco and soul thrown in for good measure.
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'Home' dials back the pep for a more isolated electronic track. Some heavily enveloped piano chords pulse like a slow strobe light while a simple kick, hat and clap sets the pace. A synth bassline makes an appearance during the chorus, teasing a heavier dance direction that never quite gets unleashed, even during the killer rap verse. The track crescendos at the end with some bright trumpet accompaniment offering a familiar reprieve from the otherwise electronics-heavy track.
'Slow Down / Home' sees the ensemble progress with a greater focus on electronics and dance sounds - yet they never lose sight of the jazzy, lounge-y neo-soul sound that engrossed us in the first place. If this and the earlier release 'Far' are anything to go by, the next step for ESESE is sure to be varied, exciting, and more unpredictable than we could ever imagine.
WORDS BY MAX LEWIS