We worked on the songs for our debut album, Lamps, for over a year, so we had a lot of time to think about our sound and the themes we wanted to address in the lyrics. In the end, though, we discovered that we are a pretty simple band. We want to be earnest and sincere in our music, and we hope our own form of melody reflects that. As for the lyrics - I sing about things that are inside of my heart. The fear and unbelief that burrows its way into my mind. I sing about Christ's persistent work in my life and the experiences that make me the person I am today. I have a deep desire to write about hope, and wanting life to be more. That's ultimately where we got the title "Lamps". I was reading that verse in Matthew 5 about letting our light shine, and the idea of a lamp as a representation of that light came to mind. In the end, I think that's what we want to be about. Whether it's in who we are, how we tour, or what's in our songs - we want to be a light - just like little Esterlyn was for us.
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Lamps is a major bright spot.| Posted June 30, 2008
After a single album, Identity, the band Grand Prize broke up sending Lead singer Luke Cadwell and Tony Caruso to start a new band called Esterlyn. This Indie rock band's first album, Lamps, is a great start, and it already sticks out.
The experience from Grand Prize helped a lot, from the song writing to the music, you can tell that it's much more refined and smooth. While Cadwell's vocals are still there, there is not too much similar about the past band. Even Cadwells vocals sound better. The only songs that sound like the medium rock sound that Grand Prize had is "reveal your love to me" and "like the rain" which are solid songs but nothing spectacular and definitely the weakest when it comes to song writing. The opening song "tie the leaves" is a little disjointed at a line in the chorus, but it's upbeat and has a good pace. It may be hard to get into Esterlyns music right off but it grows on the listener which is the case of "kill your own despair" which evens out at the end and it sounds a little like Seventhday Glory.
"We all need" is light, and while it is not a stick out song it has no flaws. The album jumps into high genre with "seasons of grey" a great rock tune with an excellent refrain and a brilliant bridge. "This mystery" is a light rock song, and the old school "back to the start" is infectious. It's a little odd to have an upbeat song called "emptiness" but that's the way it is with the non conventional, and catchy song. The most reckless song, and the heaviest, "faster, faster" is great, and the overlapping lines in the bridge is excellent. The title track "Lamps" is a great ballad, and the guitar at the end of the first chorus is brilliantly blended with the guitar, and Cadwells vocals. The album ends with "about you" which is a little annoying at times, but remains strong.
The songwriting is brilliant, it has increased considerably since Grand Prize as the band has moved past its predictable and simple messages. However that doesn't mean that Esterlyn has vague, on the contrary the lyrics are more colplex while being fully faith based. The entire theme of the album is on Matthew 5:16 which about being a light. "Tie the leaves" is about going against acceptance if it's about a fake identity 'We seem to fight for what we are not'. The singer in "Seasons of Gray" struggles of letting go of pain, and "we all need" stresses the importance of "faith", "love", and "love". Themes about waiting for Gods intervention ("faster, faster"), "propose" (emptiness") and the challenge to see God as the mystery he is ("This mystery").
Even though it's a debut album this is a break out CD for Cadwell and the rest of the band. Strong faith based songwriting and impressive music is all on Lamps, which should bring Esterlyn out of the shadows and into the light.
Lamps| Posted March 17, 2008
I'll admit it. This is a band I forced myself to like. How does that work? Well, initially upon hearing a few songs off the album before it came out I thought it was generic, nothing special. I just figured it'd be another pop band on the radio that was mediocre at best. But alas, like all great music, it took time to grow on me. I don't know why, but I kept going back to listen to those 3-4 songs and each time I liked it more and more. And then I found myself wanting to hear them in my car where it wasn't possible and I KNEW I had to take a chance and buy the CD based on those songs I'd heard. Seeing the music video for their first single, 'We All Need' made everything click too, for some reason. Beats me since the video doesn't make any sense and it's nothing special.
So I went out and bought the CD for $8 and yeah, I was very wrong. It's not mediocre or generic. The lyrics are fantastic and faith-filled; covering topics standard for popular Christian music yet somehow they are different. I really think it may just be the delivery the vocalist uses. At times he's whiny, the song 'Faster, Faster' comes to mind (though a great upbeat song worthy of it's title), but he really has a great knack for vocal hooks. His voice is high and quite unique but when he goes to the deeper part of his voice he reminds me of the lead singer of Anberlin.
This whole album is also extremely uplifting. In part because of the lyrics, but it's just the spirit of the music. I feel if a Christian CD is depressing or oppressive it's missing what one of the main things that is Christ-like. Sure, nothing is always hunky dory in our lives but something oppressive has a negative affect on our spirit. Not here. It's upbeat and catchy. The music also seems surprisingly mature for a debut album and well-crafted. The production is top notch and everyone seems to be on the same page. They may not take any risks as far as song structure goes, yet the songs stand apart very well on their own.
Overall, I must say that this album also had to grow on me in order to get a feel for each song. That doesn't mean the music is overly complex. It's quite the simple pop music and I think that's really what makes it work so well. They seem to know what they excel at and that's what their focus was. It couldn't have worked out better either.
Gems of this album are: 'Emptiness', 'Like the Rain', 'We All Need', 'This Mystery'
Good pick| Posted March 29, 2011
This is a great group! I saw them in concert on a Kutless acoustic tour a couple years ago. They are quite talented! I, personally, am a fan of the songs "Like The Rain" and "We all Need".
I hope to see them in concert again sometime.. the had the stage decked out with lamps.. t'was pretty neat.
Great| Posted August 13, 2010
This is a GREAT album, my favorite album put out by Esterlyn. Although I haven't listened to all the songs on this album, I just love the sound of Esterlyn, and the meaning and sincerity of the lyrics. This is album to add to your library.
pretty good| Posted August 12, 2010
All i can say is good job Esterlyn. This band is great and they remind of legendary bands like Switchfoot and Needtobreathe. I definetley recommend you get this album.
good stuff| Posted August 12, 2010
I recommend this band to anyone who likes meaningful and encouraging, clean indie music. This is some top-notch music. It's great. Esterlyn is such a great band and I hope they keep making great music for God. I hope they stand out and never compromise and keep their music unique and beautiful (:
awesome!| Posted August 04, 2010
after hearing esterlyn play live on the "welcome to the family tour" i knew i loved them. luke caldwell's vocals are contagious! the songs sometimes get a bit annoying with a lot of added falsetto, but it is definitely a cd that you will love!
Solid| Posted August 02, 2010
This is a quality album with some fun rock tunes. I actually got this cd from NRT for free not expecting much. Though I have enjoyed it, it doesn't really grab me or get me hooked on certain songs. It sort of blends together, each song sounding like something I've already heard on the radio.
If you fail to see this mystery... won't you see it for the first time| Posted May 03, 2010
The first time I heard of Esterlyn was when they gave away their song "Kill your own Despair" as a free download through itickets. I thought it was a pretty sweet song, and when I went to their website I saw that they were giving away their album "Lamps" for free.
This band has really grown on me and has become one of my favourites simply because of their simplicity. They are real and genuine- they don't succumb to cliches and the same old sound that most CCM artists do.
No matter how many times I listen to this album, I will never get tired of it.