Estyr weaves stories of femininity, immigration, and Toronto’s suburbs into songs layered with lush vocals and warm acoustic guitar. Her songs skirt alt indie-folk and R&B genres, and fuse influences like ‘70s soul music, psychology, and soft rock radio. Whether performing solo, with upright bassist Brandon Davis, or with experimental band Tiger Balme, she’s noted for her dynamic and down-to-earth stage presence, engaging audiences to laugh, reflect, and heal.
Estyr’s second EP, All Tied Up, will be released in early 2021. The four-track album, produced by Rob McLay in Toronto, is a nostalgic reflection on her coming-of-age as a second-generation immigrant, featuring modulated vocal harmonies and electric drums. Drawing on influences such as Weyes Blood, Khruangbin, and Daniel Caesar, the EP will be released as a soundtrack accompaniment to indie feature-length film, Altar Boy, directed by Toronto-based emerging director Serville Poblete, to be released in late 2020. She says, “I’ve long felt like I was writing a soundtrack I never had as a teenager--one that resonated with my reality as a multiracial kid in a suburban town. Altar Boy tells a story that would have spoken to me then.”
In May 2020, Estyr released her second single, “Mad Woman”, produced by LE-VI. The alternative R&B track presents a strong female perspective on anger. Estyr says, “Anger has a bad reputation, but I think it’s a necessary, alchemic force. Mad doesn’t mean invulnerable, or insensitive, or masculine--I hope this song allows you to explore your own relationship with anger.” The song has received CBC radio play regionally (Fresh Air, Ontario; In the Key of C, Ontario) and locally (Big City, Small World; CBC Radio One, Toronto).
An ardent proponent for diversity in the arts, in 2017 Estyr founded Tiger Balme, an all-female band that has shared the stage with other local and international women of colour, including Madison McFerrin (Drake Underground, 2019), Emily Soon (Toronto, 2019), and Cutsleeve (Monarch Tavern, 2019). They are currently working on their debut full-length album, which is currently being produced by Paul Chin (Full Spectrum, 2020) in Toronto (release date to be determined). Estyr says, “Tiger Balme is the embodiment of everything I love as an artist: a collective space for women and people of colour to write and share their stories.”
Following the release of Estyr’s debut single, “Human Alchemy” (September 2019), she has received local (Big City Small World, CBC Radio One, Toronto) and national radio play (The Strombo Show, CBC Music), while performing at music festivals and intimate venues across Southern Ontario and Finland, including: The Drake Underground (January 2020), Holy Smokes Music Festival (Guelph, 2019); SoFar Sounds (Toronto, 2019), and Manala (Helsinki, 2019).
“Thanks to its honey-like pacing, echoing instrumentation, and Estyr’s beautifully crystalline vocals, “Human Alchemy” is the type of song that turns the messiest of breakups into an exercise in artful contemplation.” - Li-Wei Chu, From The Intercom (Los Angeles, USA), January 2019
“I remember lots of laughter during Estyr’s performance...and how tranquility quickly filled the then-crowded space when she started singing along with her acoustics and Anda’s harp.” - Mirae Lee; Looseleaf Magazine (Toronto, Canada); July 2019
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