Photo by Cody Satterfield
ESS SEE and Julie Kathryn of “I Am Snow Angel” have teamed up to produce “Fast Cheap Easy,” ESS SEE’s first single since her debut EP, “Ordinary Woman” (released in 2017.) The song has already been featured by NPR in their “Desks of the 2018 Tiny Desk Contest” video and will be officially released on all streaming platforms TOMORROW June 29, 2018, but HEY we got it a day ahead. 🙂
The song was inspired by ESS SEE’s past life in the advertising world, and takes a cheerfully cynical view on modern American culture, confronting standards of quality, access to excess, and relationships to technology. “Fast Cheap Easy” is the first single off ESS SEE’s debut full length album, set for a fall 2018 release (also produced by Julie Kathryn).
Girl Gang Music is elated to share this exclusive streaming premiere:
Check out our exclusive Q&A with ESS SEE below:
GGM: How did you get here? Did you always know you’d be a musician?
“Despite “Rockstar” being my stock answer to the classic “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question, I didn’t fully take the plunge into music until I hit my early thirties. I’d been writing, singing, and performing since I was a teenager, but instead of pursuing rock stardom after college, I took a decade long detour in the advertising world working as an art director. During that time, I sang in a few bands, furiously wrote songs in my bedroom at night, and began to teach myself the basics of music production. In 2016, the grind of the 9-5 was more than I could bear (mad respect to those who can crush it in that environment) and I decided it was time to set out on my own as a solo artist. I released my first EP, “Ordinary Woman” in 2017 and am now in the final phases of finishing my first full length album. “Fast Cheap Easy” is the first release off this new album.”
GGM: What was the songwriting + production process behind this record? If you have any pictures, we’d love to see them.
“This song, ‘Fast Cheap Easy’, came to me after I had been feeling some angst towards what I perceived to be a general decline in quality and standards of how we as a society (myself included) consume art, media, technology, and even relationships in a world that is moving so, so, very fast. Ironically, it was written very fast, in about an hour.
The song is cynical, but cheerful. Despite my fears and frustrations with the evolution of American culture, I’m an optimist—I refuse to accept that we are forever lost. I view this song as a documentation of how I currently see culture and am anxious to see how we’ll move forward from here.
I write and produce all of my demos in my apartment in Brooklyn, NY and then work with a producer to finish the songs. For this record, I’ve teamed up with NYC based producer Julie Kathryn of ‘I Am Snow Angel.’ It was important to me to work with a female producer on this project, as I’d never had that experience before. It’s proven to be a very fruitful decision! Julie and are fortunate to have cultivated a great working chemistry and I’m really proud of the work we’ve accomplished together. On this track, Julie infused new life into the beat and bass lines while staying true to the dance-punk feel inspired by the likes of Peaches, Karen O, The Gossip, and Le Tigre.”
GGM: What has been your proudest moment so far in life? Music or otherwise?
“My proudest moment to date was finding the courage to leave the safety of my old career, take myself seriously as a musician, and give myself the freedom to truly grow as an artist.”
GGM: What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
“I have a pre-show ritual of painting my ear gold to remind myself to listen to the good and let go of the bad.
…And that and I grew up with a pet goat named Flower and a pet deer named Bambi.”
GGM: Do you think being a woman in music has affected your career? If so, how?
“Yes, in a good way. I am lucky to have entered this industry in a time when female musicians, producers, bookers, bloggers and organizations are gaining momentum and garnering the credit they have long deserved. Women are uniting and supporting each other to lift up projects that may otherwise have never seen the light of day. I think because of this, we have become emboldened and are using our voices to share our experiences and perspectives through our craft—and the world is more receptive than ever. I also work with several men who whole heartedly support and champion women musicians. I think it’s a very inspiring and encouraging time for women in music and I’m thrilled to be a part of it…
…That being said, I am still consistently asked “Who writes your songs? Who makes your beats?” when I step off stage shows. I guess we can’t expect everything to change over night, but I feel privileged to help people see that ladies can make some pretty bangin’ jams too!”
GGM: What’s your one piece of advice for women in the industry?
Trust your instincts and find the people that will positively challenge you (not change you), help you grow, and build you up. Do your best to let go of those who won’t.
Follow ESS SEE
ESS SEE’s Girl Gang Music Picks
“It’s really hard to narrow this down to 2-3! I’d say the gals I’ve listened to most over the past few months would be Beth Ditto (fellow Arkansan!), St. Vincent, and LIZZO.” – ESS SEE
I Am Snow Angel (Julie Kathryn)
“Right now, I’m super inspired by “I Am Snow Angel” (Julie Kathryn). Obviously, I love “I Am Snow Angel” since I’ve put the creative fate of my record in her hands—but her music is also phenomenal. She writes with a level of vulnerability that I hope to achieve in the future and the fact that she is a top notch producer is icing on the cake.”
LAE. (Allie Schulz)
“LAE. and I played a small tour together last year and I was blown away by her writing, powerhouse vocals, and smooth dance moves. She’s L.A. based and releasing some of the freshest alt-pop in the game.”