Robin Kester – Cigarette Song (AT EASE)

Robin Kester – Cigarette Song (AT EASE)

Dreamy ’70s pop vibes on the new single Cigarette Song from Netherlands-based artist Robin Kester ahead of the release of a mini-album in September 2020 on the new AT EASE label. 

Robin Kester standing in front of lakeArtist: Robin Kester
Track: Cigarette Song
Label: AT EASE
Released: 31 July 2020
Find it: Spotify

There will be little surprise for many in the idea that surroundings can influence creativity. The quirkily decorated, primary coloured, and slide-fitted offices of many an ‘innovative creative start-up’ stand as testament to the principle. Deeper still than that is the lesser known idea of psychogeography – the influence of place on individuals and by extension their creative works.

Described as the ‘dissolution of boundaries between art and life’ the concept links back to avante-garde movements. More importantly it can be heard in music more often than we realise.

Perhaps so too here, on Cigarette Song the latest single from Dutch artist Robin Kester. Woozy and unhurried the track dissolves into warm brass (contributed by Villagers’ Conor O’Brien), inescapable nostalgia in the notes as ambiguous lyrics float across the top. And yet, for all its ’70s pop softness and folk-infused finger-picking there is an edge to the melody, and the feeling you could easily become forever lost here, looped into the song and relinquishing autonomy as the vocal is layered into a choir.

Recorded in a studio deep within an abandoned psychiatric hospital and using vintage instrumentation whether the tracks meandering nature full of questioning and faith was influenced by that place is a matter of opinion. It is a song though where fragility leans into padding and where fear is soothed by hushed tones to become something with an unsettled core.

Working with producer Marien Dorleijn (Moss) Cigarette Song gives an entry point to forthcoming mini-album (or long EP I suppose) This Is Not A Democracy, due out 11 September on the new AT EASE label. Further exploring shifting mental states, self-determination, and freewill melodically and thematically, as well as giving more of that vintage instrumentation and entrancing vocals it seems to me there is more than a little of the place it was recorded haunting this record.

Find Robin Kester: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify

If you have enjoyed reading this piece on Popoptica you can buy us a virtual coffee via Ko-fi – every donation helps us to do what we do. We’d love it if you shared on social media too – and do join the conversation with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Find me...

Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
Find me...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *