If you told me back in 2014 when E^ST released her first single that it would be another six years before we heard a full album from her, I’d have definitely tried to call your bluff. It feels like E^ST has been around much longer than someone who’s only now releasing their debut album. After years of putting out downbeat pop brilliance, E^ST decided 2020 was to be the year that she gave everyone a chance to listen to her album I’m Doing It. And honestly, waiting until now has definitely been worth it.
E^ST (Mel Bester to her friends) has historically released a brand of near melancholic pop. It’s always worked too. With a unique voice in tow, E^ST has often relied on her ability to write relatable, catchy and sentiment laden songs that more than justify her upward trajectory in the Australian music scene.
First and foremost, I’m Doing It portrays E^ST as an artist who’s freshly out of a relationship and looking at not only getting through it, but becoming a better person because of it. The instantly catchy “Get Through” is that song everyone can get on the level of: you’re down in the dumps, a little raggedy and wallowing in your own self pity. After waking up to yourself, something clicks. You’ll get over whomever or whatever it is you’re moping about, and get back on the proverbial bike. Its piano led intro is honest and true to the sentiments of the song, before the dance beat drops. It’s a killer switch that invokes a little drum and bass vibe to it and will definitely lend itself to being remixed.
Much like “Get Through”, “Walking Home in the Rain” is about embracing the low ebbs of life and enjoying it for what it is. As E^ST points out, your current life is the best life you’ll ever have, so why not try enjoy it? “Walking Home in the Rain” is delicately introspective but ultimately the best and most fulfilling song on the album.
With only three of the twelve tracks on I’m Doing It clocking in at three minutes or longer, the album is a short listen. This is a positive. All tracks are pure pop and enjoyment laced from start to finish. Closer “I Wanna Be Here”, with its bulletproof sentiment, leaves the listener on a genuinely positive note, as you come full circle, from a person who’s had enough of life to someone that’s ready to kick as many goals as possible.
Previous released tracks “Talk Deep”, “Flight Path”, “Maybe It’s Me” and “Fresh Out of Love” more than justify E^ST’s decision to make them singles. From the sadness tinged “Fresh out of Love”, the groove driven longing-to-make-connections “Talk Deep”, to the sugary “Maybe It’s Me” and the gospel influenced “Flight Path”, E^ST proves she’s more than capable of making music that spreads across a vast spectrum of styles, emotions and content. Yes, the album centres on love and loss, but this doesn’t take away from how great it is.
An album full of emotion, story telling and embracing the basic needs and wants of being a human, I’m Doing It is a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s short in length, but just like the artist who released it, I’m Doing It plays the long game. I don’t know if E^ST could have released an album as good as this six years ago. I’m glad she took the time to perfect her art. You should be too.
I’m Doing It is an album made by someone who’s only now grown to be comfortable in her own skin. After years of trying to find the right time and space to release her debut, E^ST is showing all the signs of an artist headed for bigger and better things; whether that’s in a upwards or e^stern trajectory, who knows.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
I’m Doing It is out Friday 31 July.
To launch I’m Doing It, E^ST is playing four sold out shows at The Vanguard, Sydney on 2nd and 3rd August.