Ester Rada Brings The Eclecticism On Her Self-Titled LP


Upon listening to Ester Rada‘s self-titled debut, I made the dumb error of trying to place it into a certain category. That’s the ol’ music journalist knee jerk reaction — listen to an album and then throw out a genre or two to give you, lovely reader, an idea of some kind of what you should be listening for. Yet for an album like Ester Rada, it isn’t that simple, considering it’s the Rorschach test of albums where the aural inkblots are up to anyone’s interpretation. I was well aware of this when we deemed the Israeli-born singer/songwriter Bounce-Worthy and soaked into the bewitching brews present on her debut EP, Life Happens, but I didn’t figure it’d be a full-on explosion of prismatic sounds once I took in the full LP. Talk about underestimating.

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For a first listen, there is much to digest, as the eclecticism of Rada is boundless. And with torch jazz, Afrobeat, reggae, alt-rock and slabs of brassy funk coming at you from all sides, there is little room for boredom and lots of room to explore. The familiar sounds of previously released singles “Monsters” and “Life Happens” melt in with the newer material, and she goes from packing heat on tracks like “Sorries,”  “Bad Guy” and “Bazi” to dimming the lights on mood pieces like “Out” and “Could It Be” with the quickness. Rada’s consciousness to her Israeli and Ethiopian roots continues to play a major way in the tracks she scribes (and by the way, she wrote all 12 tracks present) and that honesty towards her roots and upbringing flows with great poise from one song to the next. So if you’re tired of the banal one-note tunes you feel you are being served, then let Ester Rada show you the wonders of a true music buffet by heading over to her Bandcamp spot and scooping up the unique thrill that is her debut album. I promise that you’ll latch onto something here.

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