Sometimes the simplest statements are the most effective, so I will say this: Estrons are a very exciting new band. Hailing from Cardiff, the South Wales collective don't skirt around their topics, they dive into them head first like a rugby player hurtling towards a kebab shop. We premiered their video for "Make A Man" last year which saw the band flip female objectification on its head, replete with scenes of lead singer Tali Källström sitting on the faces of a couple of buff half-naked dudes' no less.
Today, we're premiering their new EP She's Here Now, and it's full of blistering sociopolitical observation from lads bragging about how many women they've slept with to people's reactions to breastfeeding. It's also full of unbridled energy, dynamic vocals that Kat Bjelland would be proud of, and angular Queens of the Stone Age-reminiscentriffs. Basically: it's good as fuck.
Get stuck in and read our Q&A with Tali about South Wales, politics and chips below.
Noisey: Hey Tali. How are you? What's the first thing you did when you got up this morning?
Tali Källström: I'm good thank you. First thing I did was make myself a coffee, checked my bank balance and then went back to laying horizontally.
Very leisurely! Could you tell us a bit about where you grew up?
I was born in the UK but was rushed to Vancouver Island when I was a few months old by my Canadian mother. My earliest memories are of the incredible winters Canada has and building snowmen with my mum. We moved back to Cardiff when I was just starting school, which is where I learnt to speak Welsh. It was a pretty confusing time.
How did Estrons get together?
I met Rhodri on a beach in west Wales. He had already set up the band with some friends but was looking for a lead singer. We got chatting and he said we should try and write some songs together. I remember at the time thinking that sounded terrifying. The next day I went around to his place and we sang some terrible songs. Estrons actually means "outsiders" or "strangers" and that's how things started out for us. Strangers who are now friends.
Wales has been a fairly consistent birthing pool for influential bands over the last few decades although it feels like things dropped off a bit (on a commercial level) with Kids In Glass Houses, The Blackout etc. How would you describe the music scene in Wales at the moment?
Funnily enough, we actually recorded our latest EP in the same studio as those bands you mention. I agree, there's been some incredible musicians come out of Wales in the past, but it's certainly not dead though. There's a really eclectic music scene across the whole of Wales. Cardiff especially has turned out some great artists. Euros Childs, Meilyr Jones, Cate Le Bon, Mclusky, Gruff Rhys to name just a few. You just have to ignore that fucking screamo bollocks you get in some parts of Wales.
How do you feel about the state of the UK at the minute? Wales is still feeling the effects of Thatcherism so the prospect of having to experience that again under Theresa May feels extremely scary to me.
Yeah, well there's no real industry around here anymore, it's all call centres or working at Amazon. Wales has been fucked over by the Tories and Westminster for decades and the decision to leave the EU is definitely not going to help. There's a real lack of opportunities for young people. Things are pretty bad here. I'm worried myself and think most people are.
If you could pick anyone in the UK to be the prime minister who would it be?
I'm sorry to keep it serious…but I really would vote for Jeremy Corbyn. I know all politicians are meant to be snakes, but at least this one doesn't bite.
Back to more important things. Where is your favourite place to eat in Cardiff?
My friend's family run an Italian restaurant called Caffe Citta. It's real deal Italian food, not just some fucked up carbonara out of a bag. You'll have trouble getting in though as it's a popular place, and it's very small.
If you had to give someone a tour of the city where would you take them?
Around Canton where I grew up - there's real genuine Cardiff charm there untouched by new shopping centres full of crap no one can afford. There's lots of pop up events and football hooligans chanting in the local pubs. I love it. There's also some lovely arcades in the city with lots of independent shops. This is starting to sound like one of those free tourist magazines, so I'm going to stop.
So, the title of the EP is "She's Here Now". What does that mean to you?
It's actually the end of a sentence which starts "Whoever she was…" and the EP is about the journey I made from writing, recording and then releasing this EP. It's been one mess of a year, but I couldn't be more proud of these songs we have written.
You've said before that the EP is about battles, both internal and external. What is the best battle you can think of that's happened recently that's actually been won?
I went through a couple of months of hell with someone from my past who was determined to make my life difficult. Things got serious for a moment and it all got out of of hand. It was a pretty stressful time. It taught me a lot about relationships, myself and society in general. That's where the battle themes have come from.
You've done loads in the last 12 months. Toured with Slaves, Dilly Dally, played SXSW… What do you have your eyes set on next?
We definitely want to go back to America and I would love to play a show in Vancouver one day. I want to get out of the UK first and foremost and see some of Europe. It can get claustrophobic on this island. There are so many people out there that we want to play to. We can't wait.
Anything else you'd like to add?
I hope you like our EP and thank you for having me.
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