Estrons aren’t quite sure how they managed a debut album. “It’s hard to find common ground,” admits vocalist Tali Källström. They don’t listen to the same music. “There’s always a fight over the CD player in the van. I think Rhodri [Daniel, guitar]’s taste in music is terrible. He thinks my taste in music is terrible. I don’t know how we wrote the songs we did. They’re all these weird Frankenstein’s monsters.”
But two years since ‘Make A Man’ made people sit up and take notice, Estrons are set to release ‘You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough’. They’ve spent most of 2018 away for the spotlight, figuring things out and seeing where pull makes way for push.
“We wanted to make sure everything was right. For us to make sure everything is right, that usually takes a long time.”
Unafraid of stepping away from their steadily building momentum, “the most important thing is getting your art right,” she says. “If it’s not right, it’s not worth putting it out. It wouldn’t have mattered if it was going to take us another two years for us to get it right, we would have waited.”
Estrons have always done things on their own terms. The fact they’re releasing their debut full-length now is in part because Rhodri kept laughing, promising they couldn’t release an album with ‘Make A Man’ on it in 2019, but mainly it was just time.
“We just wanted to shed that skin and start building. We were sick of EPs, and we wanted to create a body of work that represented us and represented the last few years that we’ve been together. We wanted to capture that, have it, celebrate it and then move onto the next thing.”
Almost everything has changed for Estrons since they started.
“We’ve grown up a lot as a band. It’s become a lot more serious, and it feels like a real thing now. It is still just a hobby for us, but we’re all completely obsessed with it, and it’s all we have time to do. We don’t feel like children. We’re not a baby band anymore. We’ve got a record coming out. It’s real.”
One thing that hasn’t waned is that anger. The band first turned heads with a stomping, determined grit, balancing fury, frustration and tongue in cheek fun.
“There’s a lot of that still in there, but the record’s a lot more pop that maybe people are expecting.”
That fiery scarlet now shares space with tranquil blues, lush purples and sunburst yellow.
“It’s definitely a journey. People will be surprised when they hear it, and that’s the fun of an album. You get to experiment with EPs, and although we were experimenting the entire time we were writing and recording, this album is that statement moment. This is Estrons. This is what we are.”
The scale of the record is because Tali has “changed a lot as a person,” she says. “I went through a really, really, really difficult two years where lots of bad stuff happened, and a lot of the lyrics were inspired by that. A lot of the songs come from deep, dark places and powerful moments.
“It’s not just like ‘Make A Man’ anymore. That song was a socio-political comment, but it’s still a fun song, and people could laugh at it as a song about attraction but now, I delve into deeper parts of the soul, and I’ve spread them all out on this canvas that is this album.”
‘Killing Your Love’ strives out on its own. Originally inspired by a person Tali thought was a love addict, it was meant to be about shaking that love off before shifting and becoming more reflective.
“I have this huge insecurity about how no one will ever love me sincerely. I wanted to get rid of this love because I didn’t believe it was real. It felt like some sort of projection.
“As I was writing the lyrics, I realised we all do that. We’re all terrified of being alone, and when we get into relationships, it’s because we need that. It’s an addiction. It’s hormonal. We project a lot of ourselves onto the other person because it makes us feel whole in some way. Everyone is a love addict in some way. We’re all secretly looking for it.”
Elsewhere ‘Aliens’ came to life years ago, after a break up.
“A guy did say to me, ‘You’re too much. You’re too intense’. I was really broken over it. I felt alienated from this person. I felt like this crazy thing that would never be accepted and striving to feel that acceptance, it’s a comment on societal pressures. I realised that maybe he’s just not the right person for me. Somebody else will think I’m great.”
From that track comes the title.
“It’s a comment on how me and Rhodri are complete opposites. I’m fire, he’s water, but it’s also a comment on judgement. A lot of the themes on this record are about self-acceptance and acceptance of others. The title is saying let’s stop the judgement; let’s start accepting ourselves.”
It’s also about change.
“You’re always being told to change. Change your body, your outlook, your genre, your hair colour, your relationship. In life, you’re constantly being told to change. Just fuck off, stop telling people to change and start accepting people as they are. Change can be important, but for me, it’s other people trying to impose that change that really gets me annoyed.”
“I just want our music to help people accept themselves,” continues Tali. “We go through life so miserable because we always feel like we should be something better than we are. We’re always trying to obtain some unattainable paradigm of what a person should be. We feel like we should be more beautiful, we feel like we should be thinner, we feel like we should be stronger, funnier and fitter.
“I just want people to stop worrying about those things, start looking at who it is that they actually are and not changing for anyone else but themselves. I hope people can finally accept themselves listening to the music, because I’ve been very honest with it. I don’t try and put on a show when I’m onstage. I don’t try and put on a show when I write lyrics for people. It’s come from a real place.
“Hopefully, it’ll help people feel better about their own lives because I’ve definitely been struggling to feel good about mine for the past two years.”
‘You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough’ is an album of physical emotions. Drawing from real life extremes and quiet moments that question everything, it’s an album that exists on the edge.
“‘Strangers’ is the saddest song I’ve ever written, and it came from a time in my life where I felt like I was never going to be strong enough to give a good person what they deserved because I was damaged. We’ve all felt like that. The saddest thing is that you end up hurting yourself more than anyone else. It was a very sad moment, but the best lyrics come from the worst experiences.”
There’s a weight to Estrons. Live they demand this connection, a celebration of self and making it this far and on their debut record, they keep that fire burning. Tali hates the word cathartic – “it’s what everyone says” – and this album means far too much for those sort of wide brush strokes.
“Without our music, I don’t know what I’d be doing. It saved me from myself. I went through a tough time, and I’ve felt such dark things but what I’ll do is pick up a pen, and start writing. It’s definitely a therapy. It’s great being able to get it out. Without it, I don’t know what I would have done.”
Taken from the October issue of Dork. Estrons’ debut album ‘You Say I’m Too Much, I Say You’re Not Enough’ is out 5th October.
Words: Ali Shutler