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Judge for essence music

San Francisco, CA
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Portrait of essence music
San Francisco singer-songwriter, essence, has released her much anticipated third album entitled ‘Feels Like the Future,’ independently, available now on iTunes, it's sound is a distinct hybrid of electronica and indie pop. Deeply influenced by the sudden loss of her father in 2007, and inspired by the birth of her son, Rhys, only a few months later. "Feels Like the Future” is a collection of fourteen intimate and spirit lifting tracks that preserve essence’s trademark sound of blending sweeping vocals and honest lyrics. With this record, essence naturally communicates a turbulent spectrum of emotion through music.

The highlights of her new album include the opening title track ‘Feels Like the Future’ which won the GRAND PRIZE for The Great American Song Contest, as well as placement in NBC's 'Access Hollywood.' A prime example of life imitating art, this song basically wrote itself, upon meeting her future husband and father of her child. Its message is that of one of the great wonders of life: a declaration of love and a brave departure from the past.

The album then takes the listener to a dizzying time of adolescence with the upbeat, and whimsical tune “Yum Yum.” This song depicts the playful innocence of childhood like a nursery rhyme and is yet peppered with double entendres. The spinning vocals and sugary melodies make this song unforgettable.

With a remarkable sequence of transitions, essence fast-forwards to a more somber place to salute her father, in her ballad “How to Say Goodbye.” In a similar vein, “Shape of You” spotlights the aftermath of loss, and the path to healing. It is prominently featured in Jennifer Steinman’s critically acclaimed independent film entitled “Motherland.”

The album is punctuated with two dance tracks “Just Wanted to Dance” and Solarstone’s internationally-embraced re-mix of “Lunar Rings.” These uncompromising electronic soundscapes create transcendent intermissions to the albums more sentient songs.

“Feels Like The Future” is a collaboration among a handful of world class producers: Karl Derfler (No Doubt, Tom Waits, and countless film soundtracks), Count (Rolling Stones, Lyrics Bjorn, DJ Shadow), Garth May (producer of previous essence releases "Conception" & "Mariposa,") David Della Santa and Dan Wool. Each producer brought something unique to the mix, so there is dimension to the record as a whole, and yet unity is achieved by the common thread of essence’s songwriting and soaring vocals.

In her eleven year span as a recording artist, essence has earned a devoted following in San Francisco where she has sold thousands of CDs and headlined some of the city's most prestigious venues. She has also shared bills with Tom Petty, Shawn Colvin, Natalie Merchant, Ani DiFranco and Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes.

essence started her music career after partnering with independent music producer Garth May and recorded her first album “Conception” in 1997. In 1998, essence won The National Lilith Fair Talent Competition, standing out among 5000 entries with her song “Sleeping With The Driver.” In 2003 essence released, to wide critical acclaim, her groundbreaking album “Mariposa” and later earned a “SIBL” award (Songs Inspired by Literature) for her song “Still Crying”, landing her placement on a CD alongside Bruce Springsteen, Aimee Mann, and Suzanne Vega. essence also gained exposure as a featured performer on VH1's music special "Women First”, NPR’s “World Café”, KFOG radio in SF, and A&E Network's hit show "The Division." In addition, she has received heavy Bay Area press coverage including features in the San Francisco Chronicle, SF Examiner, the Bay Guardian, and SF Weekly.

Michael Paoletta, Billboard Magazine, on essence:

"...layer upon layer or aural sensations (part acoustic, part electronic) just waiting to be discovered and savored. With nods to female contemporaries like Nelly Furtado, Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morissette, Imogen Heap, and Sarah McLachlan, essence remains very much her own artist. ...a singer, who, like Madonna, isn't afraid to take musical chances."