Robin Kester makes music that is simultaneously evocative and exhilarating
With her hypnotic voice and a soft spot for open guitar tunings, electronics and vintage synths, Robin Kester makes music that is simultaneously evocative and exhilarating. The tracks on the mini-album This Is Not A Democracy reference Sufjan Stevens’ enigmatic hymn, Cate Le Bon’s indie pop, Beach House’s dream pop and the enchanting beauty of Weyes Blood, as well as the 70s of Nick Drake and Karen Dalton are never far away.
“It is at once impressionistic, volatile and graceful but at its heart lies a quiet euphoria.” is how Conor O’Brien describes Robin Kester’s music. After a joint tour through the Netherlands and Belgium, the Villagers frontman wanted to contribute to Cigarette Song, one of the tracks from This Is Not A Democracy. The first physical release of Robin Kester was recorded in the studio of Marien Dorleijn (Moss), a former psychiatric hospital in the Dutch woods of Den Dolder. Besides O’Brien and Dorleijn, Maarten Vos can also be heard with cello and modular synths on three tracks.
This Is Not a Democracy is well received by the Dutch press, while her music can often be heard on international radio. The singles Sweat and Fright and Remove and Delete get airplay from London to Los Angeles. Kester was track of the week on both John Kennedy’s (Radio X) and Shell Zenner’s (Amazing Radio) shows, was featured by KEXP and on BBC Radio 6 Music in Lauren Laverne’s morning show. Robin Kester can be heard several times on the radio show of Elbow’s Guy Garvey (“I think this is great”) and ended up on the playlist of the influential KCRW (US). In Ireland and Northern Ireland, the tracks were featured on RTÉ 2 FM and BBC Radio Ulster (“An amazing record”).
The mini-album has now been streamed more than three million times on Spotify and according to Apple Music, The Dirt is one of the best 100 tracks of 2020, while Day Is Done is in the favorites list of the NRC music journalists. Single Sweat and Fright was played by NPO 3FM, KINK and Radio X. In addition, the band played sessions for 3VOOR12 Radio and Vera on Track on NPO 3FM, on NPO Radio 1 at Nooit Meer Slapen and De Nieuws BV and at Leo Blokhuis on NPO Radio. 2. Jan Douwe Kroeske recorded a 2 Meter Sessions, while NTR portrayed her for the Noorderslag broadcast on NPO 3.
In a short time, Robin Kester and her band are invited to festivals such as Motel Mozaique, Le Guess Who?, BIME Bilbao, Crossing Border, Here Comes The Summer, Valkhof, Bruis and ESNS (Noorderslag) and nominated by her colleagues for a Zilveren Notekraker.
Transport without pushing. Repent without preaching. This is not democracy. This is the world according to Robin Kester. This Is Not A Democracy is out on CD, vinyl and digital on the independent label AT EASE.