E^ST’s most recent track ‘FRESH OUT OF LOVE’ added the backing of tastemakers NME and Clash to the growing list of her supporters and also became a favourite at Australia’s leading new music station triple j. She adds to her escalating upwards momentum by revealing the new single ‘MAYBE IT’S ME’.
‘MAYBE IT’S ME’ is an apologetically poppy, beat-driven power ballad that showcases the unwaveringly honest lyricism that E^ST is best known for, and of course her flair for extravagant production. Produced with her key collaborator, Jim Eliot (Halsey, Ellie Goulding, Kylie Minogue), the track provides a much-needed sonic pick-me-up with a touch of E^ST’s signature millennial nihilism.
“This song is about being a hot mess in life, and starting to wonder if maybe life has nothing to do with it and you just kindasuck,” said E^ST.
2020 is set to be a huge year for E^ST, with her debut album ‘I’M DOING IT’ on the way. The album focuses on feelings of heartbreak, isolation and failure, and signals a huge leap forward from her EP releases ‘Old Age’ and ‘Life Ain’t Always Roses’, which drew plaudits from the likes of Popjustice, The Fader and Paper.
“My music’s always been driven by my emotional state,” said E^ST, real name Melissa Bester.“It’s the way I express how I’mfeeling, but just as often it’s how I find out how I’m feeling.” Either way, she says, it ends up being “as raw as I can possiblymake it.”
Historically, E^ST has used music to explore her passion for fantasy, poetry and storytelling. Now it’s time for a new chapter with ‘I’M DOING IT’.
“The first half of the album is all about being a heartbroken mess as your life falls apart, and it’s wallowing in that with no effortto make sense of it,” she said. “I mean you need to have a wallow — it’s crucial.”
The turning point comes in the middle with a song, appropriately enough titled ‘TURN’. After that, the songs take on a more upbeat tone.
“The songs are still dealing with sadness and heartbreak, but there’s a conscious effort to do better and be better. The albumtakes on an optimistic tone as I grow as a person. By the end, the album’s like: it’s okay, I’m getting by, I’m coping.”
E^ST, whose artist name was inspired by her mother’s maiden name Oosthuysen (oost means east in Dutch), has supported the likes of Panic! At The Disco and Twenty One Pilots on tour. The dynamic tunesmith has also become an in-demand writer for other artists, from global concerns like Noah Cyrus to acts from back home like Nicole Millar.
With 500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and millions of views on YouTube (including her triple j Like A Version interpretation of The Verve’s ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’, which raked in 2.5 million views) E^ST has cemented her position at the forefront of Australia’s alt-pop scene.