Celebrated Oklahoma post-rock band Ester Drang returns with its first new music in 12 years for an album release show 7 p.m. Oct. 27 at ACM@UCO Performance Lab, 329 E. Sheridan Ave., in Bricktown. New songs and performances by popular Oklahoma City-based indie pop acts Husbands and Tallows round out the triple bill.
The concert is part of the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s (ACM@UCO) continuing Metro Music Series celebrating the school’s 10th anniversary. Tickets are $10, available at eventbrite.com.
“This event is exciting for multiple reasons,” said ACM@UCO CEO and Executive Director Scott Booker. “Each of these bands is great on their own. Putting them together on the same night — each with new music — promises to be an energetic and memorable event, especially for live music fans. We’re also thrilled to celebrate the opening date of their upcoming tour.”
Additionally, Oklahoma-raised, award-winning pop artist Sara Bowersock, long involved in the local music scene and now living in Colorado creating art full-time via her Point Blank Art & Design business, contributed her “Day of the Dead” imagery for exclusive use in ACM@UCO concert posters and promotional materials for this one-night-only event.
Ester Drang’s six-track EP, “The Appearances,” drops nationwide Oct. 26 on Oklahoma City-based independent record label Clerestory AV. It will be available in vinyl, CD and digital formats.
The band recently reunited after being invited by Ian McCulloch to join English rock act Echo and the Bunnymen on tour. Original members Bryce Chambers (songwriter and multi-instrumentalist; he also performed with Native Lights and Unwed Sailor) and Kyle Winner (bass) returned for the band’s reformation. Ester Drang’s signature lush, atmospheric sound is further heightened by Tommy McKenzie (NET, Stardeath and White Dwarfs) and Hank Hanewinkel III (Nuns, Native Lights).
Ester Drang’s first formed in 1995 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
“I’ve been a fan of Ester Drang since their first record release show in 1999,” said Clerestory AV owner Chris Stellman. “They were the first local band I saw break out of the Oklahoma music scene and receive acclaim on a national level. I knew they’d been playing some shows again after a long hiatus, and I and reached out to Bryce about working together. I was thrilled when he replied about doing an EP. I honestly think this is the best music they’ve ever made, and I’m honored to be working with them.”
In addition to the new lineup, notable musicians with Oklahoma connections appear on the project, including James McAlister (founding drummer of Ester Drang, who has worked with Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, the National and others), cellist Jon Paul Pope and Broncho’s Nathan Price.
Clerestory AV also recently launched its OKAY vinyl series, featuring new, joint 7-inch recordings with new music by Oklahoma-based alternative indie acts Husbands and ACM@UCO-affiliated Tallows. Other artists in the series are Samantha Crain, John Calvin Abney, Lord Buffalo and Beau Jennings, and all tracks to date have been recorded with Scott Johnson and full-time ACM lecturer Dustin Ragland at Stowaway Recording in Oklahoma City’s Deep Deuce neighborhood.
ACM@UCO’s Metro Music Series is sponsored by Oklahoma Gazette, Exchange Music, KOSU Radio, ArtWorks, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.
About ACM@UCO Metro Music Series
The 2018-2019 school year marks ACM@UCO’s tenth anniversary. To celebrate, it expanded its long-running Metro Music Festival into a yearlong event. The revamped Metro Music Series includes the High Noon Showcase, presenting free shows by ACM@UCO-tied music acts and tastemakers; its ACM@UCO Performance Lab series by regional and national touring acts; and a growing roster of masterclasses, clinics and workshops with industry leaders, many of which are open to students and the public.
Check in with ACM@UCO as we announce additional Metro Music Series shows, events and surprises through the year.