Music

Take a dip into folk with Esther Holt in By Water

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The world of folk has become a busy one of late. The genre has swelled in popularity over the last few years more or less thanks to the incorporation of acoustic pop elements. It’s actually become hard to come by true folk music that hones in on weaving stories with a pretty melody in the background rather than the other way round. However the arrival of Esther Holt‘s By Water may well be the exception.

Esther Holt

The latest single By Water is a testament to the talent and vocal beauty of Esther Holt.

Esther Holt made her public debut as a musician in 2013 as the backup vocals on Whitley’s single My Heart is Not a Machine. After joining them on their national tour playing at multiple venues including the 2013 iteration of Splendor in the Grass, Esther Holt became grounded within the Australian music scene. Apart from Whitley, Esther has also performed with many other prominent artists within the Melbourne music scene. She has also provided and has been a regular guest vocalist for artists Yuko Nishiyama and Lily Parker .

Thankfully the Melbourne born folk-pop artist wasn’t content just singing for others and went on to release her first EP Countless Verse. It dabbles with both folk, indie, pop and country elements and contains a mixture of uplifting and solemn songs that provides a great dynamic. The EP firmly established who Esther Holt, the artist is and as a result leaves listeners intrigued for what type of sounds are to come.

The answer to that question comes in the form of the Lawrence Greenwood produced track By Water, the first taste of her soon to be released second EP. Strongly lyric focused the song comprises nothing more then the strum of a guitar and Esther’s angelic vocals that softly guides the listener until the crescendo of the piece. It is here that the song increases in intensity with horns, winds and banjo elements. The shining quality to By Water however is its ability to create a delicately haunting atmosphere. With lyrics like “By water face fallen still she knew it was not right, and say goodbye mourning still eyes wide” the track explores issues of loss and despair.

The video for By Water captures those elements perfectly, pertaining a haunting and foreboding quality. Esther creates a video full of imagery that results in a feeling that we are peering into someone’s inner turmoil and struggles. The slowly brooding first half is of-set by the calmly triumphant second. Perfectly matched, the atmosphere created is one that leaves viewers in a state of morose and unease.

With her second EP due out later this year, it is definitely one that listeners should keep an ear out for.

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