Words: James Frostick
Esther Edquist of Superstar fame has remerged back on the scene with news of a new EP under her Sweet Whirl guise. Ahead of the May release of the six-song effort Love Songs & Poetry, Esther has gifted our ears the delicate and velvety single ‘Strange News’. The gorgeous folky track is saturated with a rosy-cheeked dreaminess, inspired by near-romances and missed chances.
Courtship, in a romantic sense, is a road lousy with pitfalls and misdirections. It’s never simple, and even two sides with a mutual attraction often find themselves drifting in opposite directions – each believing they are on the right path to one another. Fuzzy flirtations and the idea of dropping the proverbial ball forms the basis of Sweet Whirl’s new track ‘Strange News’. To a backing of woozy folk strum, singer Esther Edquist takes stock of these near misses that we typically can only fully comprehend in the aftermath. Her smoky and smooth vocals are reminiscent of saloon singers mourning lost loves and opportunities, an aesthetic befitting the matter of romantic errors.
To the soft plod of the song’s percussion and languid acoustic progression, Esther takes us through the slow waltz of romance, missteps and all. The parallels between love and dance are obvious, but in the end few metaphors are as apt at describing the kerfuffle that is intimate connection. Throughout ‘Strange News’ Esther pleads that her counterpart will keep one hand on the reins, staying the path despite her own muddled advances. At one point she says she’s not the type one should be taking home, but follows it by saying they shouldn’t take her advice. The waltz moves two steps forward and one step back. Her idleness and hesitation proves to be her near undoing, the “will they, won’t they” guessing game that terrifies and exhilarates in equal measure.
“Take the lead and take it slow / take it easy baby / No, I can dance / I’m just waiting, waiting on your moves”
Perhaps the move was never made. Maybe it was and Esther missed it and now two dancers are moving out of rhythm. It doesn’t matter – the feeling has now evaporated and we move on to the next. But one can’t help but mull over the romance could have been – the one that seems so vital and pure in hindsight.
“The years rolling by / the leak in my eye / and I still need you just the same”