Rakista News

Posted By

Jan 15, 2021
Filipino-Australian artist Bryan Estepa kicks of the new year with Josh Pyke-produced 'Trick of the Light'

In 2020, Bryan Estepa released two new songs, continuing on from the success of his exceptional 2019 album Sometimes I Just Don’t Know. The second of those singles, ‘Admit Now, Pay Later, received a video premiere onRolling Stone Australia, was featured on NME Australiaand had strong national radio airplay - including selection as one of the featured Singles of the Week on 2ser FM in Sydney. Now the Sydney-based Filipino songwriter reveals the second of his collaborative efforts with multi ARIA and APRA award-winning Australian songwriter Josh Pyke.

Estepa has always had an undeniable ear for hooks. Combined with classic pop and rock arrangements, (like his heroes You Am I, The Beatles and Wilco) his songs always possess a timeless quality. He’s proved it over and over again across six acclaimed albums and live shows in Australia, Japan, the USA, UK, Spain, Sweden and the Philippines. 

On 'Trick of the Light', Estepa combines heavenly melodies and a melancholic air on this irresistible slice of indie guitar pop, singing about acceptance, letting go and allowing yourself to feel whatever it is that comes out while you’re treading new waters. As always with his songwriting, there are layered poetic brushstrokes in the way Estepa blends and informs his songs with multiple meanings, as he explains. “I also like the idea that the presence of light does not necessarily signal happiness or life but can also mean that emotions and perception can be blurred by its appearance.”

Working with Pyke, Estepa was impressed with the producer’s instinct and ability to enhance the inherent strengths of Estepa’s songs. “It's exciting watching Josh work! You sense that his creative light is always on and he needs to get his ideas out quickly before it starts to flicker. He takes on what I think the song’s direction might be but adds a couple of detours that are normally right on the money.”

Pyke is quick to reciprocate the praise. “Bryan’s a great writer and collaborator. He’s got a classic pop sensibility but is really open to feedback and experimentation which made my job as producer really fun and free.”

Sonically, there’s a beautiful weightlessness to the production and instrumentation that gracefully carries the song. Guitars sparkle and lightly jangle amid some sublime piano, backing vocals and percussive elements that add unique detailing to the melodic richness of the track. 

About Bryan Estepa

Born in Cubao, Quezon City in the Philippines, Estepa and his family moved to Sydney, Australia in 1987. It was there, at the age of 15, that he began to pursue the craft of songwriting before starting his adult musical journey fronting indie pop band Swivel in the late-90s pub scene. He recorded his inaugural CD with the band, which paved the way for his solo career. A year of travelling across the USA and performing at open mic nights inspired songs for his debut EP, Start Again in 2003 and since then Estepa has gone on to release six critically acclaimed solo albums (All The Bells And Whistles, Sunday Best, Vessels, Heart Vs Mind, Every Little Thing and Sometimes I Just Don’t Know). Read more about Estepa’s musical and life journey in this piece he wrote for SBS.

Bryan Estepa’s ‘Trick of the Light’ is now available on all streaming and digital platforms worldwide via Lilystars Records.

TRACK CREDITS

Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Josh Pyke

Recorded at Timshel Industries

Mastered by Josh Schuberth

Bryan Estepa - vocals, guitars, banjo & toy piano

Josh Pyke - bass, synths, xylophone & percussion 

Russell Crawford - drums, percussion & backing vocals

Jadey O'Regan - piano & organ 

 

SOME REVIEWS

“Both the track and its video are a testament to Estepa’s status as a widely-unsung hero of the Australian music scene, and gives listeners an idea of what is still to come from this beloved and critically-acclaimed artist.”Tyler Jenke Rolling Stone Australia (‘Admit Now, Pay Later’)

“The result is the best work he’s ever done: concentrated in its writing, playing, sound and intent, and not just satisfying, but lasting.”

Bernard Zuel (Sometimes I Just Don’t Know)

“Bryan Estepa offers us a rock at the crossroads of The Rolling Stones and the Beatles. The title is really a compromise between these two worlds, these two camps.” Direct Actu (‘Admit Now, Pay Later’)

“… he has a knack for crafting melodic mini-masterpieces.” Jeff Jenkins (Rhythms)

“Estepa truly flaunts the beauty of music in his own beautiful and unexpected ways.”

U Do U (‘Admit Now, Pay Later’)