Esza Kaye’s debut album has arrived. The LA produced Confessor is a bold and intimate expression of her life questions, mainly considering the theme of what “appears to be” verses what actually happens beneath the surface. This is an appropriate theme for a Mistress of Mythology.
"Esza Kaye's new Confessor plays like the mesmerizing soundtrack of a conflicted heart, simultaneously brittle and tough, but never shy. When she dreamily asks in the title track to "tell me all that you've seen" you know that she has seen a lot already."
~ Steve Morse, Critic/WBOS (92.9FM/Boston); Boston Globe Correspondent
Esza deals in the shadow energies (the darker, gothic themes and sounds she always finds as her starting place), but she ultimately takes the role of confessor, bringing in the mythological and accepting perspective that is her life’s work.
"Acceptance is not always about change...Sometimes you just have to let things be and say thank you to them. Allow them to be a part of your make up because we all are composed of a myriad of building blocks to get to where we are in our lives now."
~ Esza Kaye
This comforting and supportive acceptance is highlighted in the title track Confessor, where she sings: “I am the confessor, tell me your dreams/let me show you who you are/show you more than you have seen”. Although the album speaks at times of dark and tragic themes, somehow just hearing them out loud brings a peace to the listener. And Esza wants to uplift her listener as much as she wants to commiserate in their suffering—or delight in their excesses or abandon.
For example, the song Down is a place as much as it is a song; it is a place that we are all familiar with. It is the moment when you hit rock bottom and all the familiar dark voices and grooves sing their terrible siren’s song to you. And you believe you will never escape the madness of your shadows.
All in all, “you won't hear anything quite like Confessor this year”.
Confessor asks us who we are in a series of dramatic arrangements designed to provoke introspection and communion. The sound of this album, which she calls "aristo-goth", travels across several genres to create a new blend of filmic, multi-layered moments. Expect to see these songs in next years movies.
This is a remarkable record filled with imaginative textures ranging from prog-rock and techno to baroque opera and poppish piano ballads. The apparent influences of everyone from Kate Bush and Lene Lovich, to Ute Lemper and Led Zeppelin, creep in at various points. The songs are atmospheric mood pieces, moving from dark introspection (House of Pain has an almost Edgar Allan Poe claustrophobia) to whispers of fun, as in the alternative-lifestyle tune She's a Naughty Boy, where Kaye confesses her enjoyment of "corsets and lace ... and rubber and leather.
~STEVE MORSE, Critic At Large for WBOS (92.9 FM/Boston); Boston Globe Correspondent
House of Pain, the featured song of this album, talks about how we shy away from making painful changes in our lives. We veil our disconnected pieces with the force field of beauty and sexual attraction and hope the perfume of sexuality overpowers the scent of distress. This is an unstable house in which pain is a frequent guest.
Esza Kaye's music comes very much from the heart, and she's always impressed me with both her melodies and the depth behind her lyrics. More recently I heard one of her newest creations. A song with incredible landscape of moving sounds called House of Pain. It seemed to just build and build taking the listener on a fantastic journey. The dynamic of this song was unlike anything I've heard since working with Kate Bush many years ago.
~ Nick Launay, Producer (Arcade Fire, YYY's, Nick Cave).
Esza also loves to talk about the psyche as she imagines it to be put together. The down tempo, hypnotic track She's a Naughty Boy paints a picture of lesbian love and touches on the radical concept that each of us has male and female in different percentages in our psyche. In short, that our femininity and masculinity are not defined or limited by our physical gender.
Esza holds nothing back in this sonic expression of her truth.