New York City, New York, USA

Phantom anthems. A seamless marriage of the dark and bright sides of post-punk, with experimental flourishes from 70s art rock, shoegaze, electronic, and world styles.


Esque has always been a project rooted in the reconciliation of disparities. The pummeling rhythms of post-punk and goth meet blissful guitar and keyboard hooks of shoegaze and New Romanticism, all in support of emotionally stirring songs that capture a sophisticated glam sensuality, as well as the transcendental nostalgia of plaintive dream pop. And this is just a jumping off point, a consistent thread around which weavings of techno and electro, soul, disco, jazz, funk, Krautrock, prog, world music, and more find a welcome home.

This lush, often paranoid concoction is the brainchild of singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Darren O’Brien and drummer Chase Anderson, a pair of Memphians with strong ties to New Orleans. Their debut EP, Everyone’s Playing, self-released in September of 2006, was widely praised by Memphis and regional press.

After moving to New York individually, the group began playing shows with original bassist Basil Bayne Whatley, sharing the stage with Health and Crystal Castles, Suckers, the Acrylics, Free Blood, The Hundred in the Hands, Preacher & the Knife, Mirror Mirror, Omega Jarden, and more. A photo from one show is currently featured in a television spot for the New York Times. Meanwhile, the pair was seeking our talented collaborators, including current members Martin Richards and Agustin Cichero, a pair of Argentinian ex-patriate multi-instrumentalists, and steadily working on their first full-length, Tonightmares, a brisk yet menacing, subtly psychedelic work of paranoid art rock of impressive scope co-produced by Toshi Yano, a former member of the Fiery Furnaces, with keyboard engineering from ex-Psychedelic Fur Joe McGinty.

The first taste of Tonightmares is “Double Blind,” a dark and romantic, Moroder-meets-Simple Minds workout released this May as a 12" single with remixes from Free Blood, Omega Jarden, and Edie Sedgwick.


Hard Living

Written By: Darren O'Brien

Remember when life was a haze and nothing mattered?
Nothing existed out of view.
Wasn't it great not to know that this was living, and that other people lived it to?

But I don't think it can go on, 'cause it's hard living from now on.

The ways to kill the pain were once so painless; oblivion never felt so good.
But now the medicine has turned into the sickness, and I wouldn't stop it if I could.

But I don't think it can go on, 'cause it's hard living from now on.

Will I survive?
Oh, no, not I.


9/06 - Everyone's Playing:
- Game I Lose
- The Glorious Death of Me
- Lost Art of Suffering
- Hard Living
- The Escape Artist
(all played on Sirius/XM, Pandora,, JetBlue/Frontier Airlines, and college radio)

5/10 Double Blind:
- Double Blind (Album Version)
- Double Blind (Free Blood Remix)
- Double Blind (Edie Sedgwick Ah Um Version)
- Double Blind (Omega Jarden Remix)
- Singing In the Dark

?/10: Tonightmares:
- Devils We Know
- Be My Stranger
- Double Blind
- This Wreck Age
- These Are The Things
- Hard Living
- The Protagonist
- The Escape Artist
- The Coward

Set List

17 original live songs.
A typical set usually includes:
These Are The Things
Double Blind
Be My Stranger
Hard Living
Game I Lose
Cyst and Decease
(35 minutes +/-)

Other possible songs are:
Devils We Know
Disappear Into You
The Escape Artist
This Wreck Age
Be My Stranger
From Tears to Glory
The Glorious Death of Me
Popular Swimmers
Lost Art of Suffering

Covers include Age of Consent by New Order, and a fully rearranged version of The Promise by When In Rome.