Esther Rose - How Many Times (Dinked Edition)

  • £25.99

  • Dinked Edition 93
  • Pink / White splatter vinyl 
  • Bonus 7” featuring two exclusive tracks 
  • Hand-numbered sleeve 
  • Limited pressing of 350
  • Release date: 26th March 2021

Esther Rose was in perpetual motion when she wrote How Many Times. In the span of  two years, she moved three times, navigated the end of a relationship, and began  touring more than ever. The New Orleans-based singer-songwriter used that  momentum while she penned her third studio album. That’s why, as the album title’s  nod to the cyclical nature of life implies, there’s a rush that accompanies How Many  Times as if you’re experiencing an awakening, too. 

“That’s how I untangle what’s on my mind, by going off for a walk into wild places. That’s what makes this album a country album,” says Rose. “It’s not really just about feeling  better, it’s about feeling it, whatever it is.” 

If Rose used time to frame the stories on her 2019 sophomore album You Made It This  Far, then she’s swapped that clock for a heart monitor on How Many Times. While some  may look outward and lament over hard times and bad luck, Rose turns inward. Instead  of blaming an ex for failing to juggle her reactions on “My Bad Mood,” she examines her  own blind spots where she hopes to improve as a partner. When her car’s engine blew  up during an impulsive “pitstop” in Nashville, she wrote “Good Time” not to rue  misfortune, but to toast her own recklessness. After losing her nerve and fleeing a New  Year’s Eve date by bicycle half an hour before midnight, she immediately penned “Are  You Out There,” confronting her fear of letting go and moving on. 

With the integrity of Dean Johnson, Faustina Masigat, and Kiki Cavazos serving as  primary influences, Rose expands her alt-country sound into a blossoming world of folk  pop, rustic americana, and tender harmonies. “They’re the holy trinity of songwriter  magic,” she says, “and when I listen to them I feel like I can explore my own heartache.”  Creative touches add detail throughout the album. She uses a 1962 Gibson ES-120T,  her first semi-hollow body electric guitar, to play unplugged for a distinct tone. On  “Mountaintop,” she includes a blustery voice memo recorded at the summit of Mount  Philo, an homage to the field recording in a Bright Eyes song she holds dear. 

From “Coyote Creek” to “Without You,” Rose’s compelling voice is ferried masterfully by  the musicians that join her: Matt Bell on lap steel, Max Bien-Kahn on electric guitar, Dan  Cutler on upright bass, Cameron Snyder on drums, and Lyle Werner on fiddle. A  collection of complete takes recorded live to tape with rich instrumentation, soul-tugging  hooks, and resonating vocal melodies, How Many Times carries you into the room in  which it was made. There to help realize this was co-producer Ross Farbe of synthpop  band Video Age, who Rose also credits for bringing a stereo pop glow to these new  songs.  

The album opens with Rose reflecting on the mundane as she drifts around her house  in How Many Times. She wrote it in a night of intentional sobriety, choosing to address  directly emotions she had been avoiding until then, a theme that’s apparent throughout  the record. “‘How Many Times’ shows that ‘face it’ moment: opening the fridge, staring down the bottles, opening a laptop, just bouncing around the house before you finally  make room to face the pain and be with it,” she says. “I remember walking trancelike to  my writing table thinking, No numbing tonight. I’m going to sit here and look at it.” From opening for Nick Lowe on tour to being asked to sing on Jack White’s new album,  Rose’s journey through the past few years has been one of saying yes to new  opportunities, all while nurturing and playing in bands in the New Orleans country music  scene. The arrival of How Many Times is evidence of the sweeping growth Rose has  undergone, both personally and artistically.