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San Francisco, California, United States

San Francisco, California, United States
Band Pop Rock


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"essence in Philadelphia"

“Mariposa is swooshy, breakfast-clubby, trip-hoppy – something between Tori Amos and Moby” - Philadelphia City Paper

"SF Weekly"

“Our favorite local post-capitalization singer/songwriter.” - SF Weekly

"Philadelphia Daily News"

“San Francisco singer-songwriter Essence makes her national debut with “Mariposa”, an ear-grabber from first note to last. Her pliant, intimate vocals are applied to edgy, impressionistic lyrics about liaisons both dangerous and exultant.” - Philadelphia Daily News

"Billboard Magazine"

A bewitching set, replete with layer upon layer or aural sensations (part acoustic, part electronic) just waiting to be discovered and savored. With nods to female contemporaries like India.Arie, Alanis Morissette, Dido, and Sarah McLachlan, essence remains very much her own artist. ...a singer, who, like Madonna, isn't afraid to take musical chances. - Billboard Magazine


Thrown onstage with a cut set time and no sound check, San Francisco-born singer/songwriter essence kept a smile throughout all the delays while the sound engineer made the proper adjustments between songs. Or maybe she was grinding her teeth. Regardless, the band – fresh off an east coast tour and in preparation for a west coast jaunt in the coming weeks – played on with an upbeat flair -


"Feels Like The Future" 2009
"Lunar Rings" Re-mixed by SOLARSTONE of the UK, international dance single 2008
"Mariposa" 2003
"Conception" 1997



San Francisco singer-songwriter, essence, has released her much anticipated third album entitled ‘Feels Like the Future,’ independently, available now on iTunes, it's sound is a distinct hybrid of electronica and indie pop. Deeply influenced by the sudden loss of her father in 2007, and inspired by the birth of her son, Rhys, only a few months later, "Feels Like the Future” is a collection of fourteen intimate and spirit lifting tracks that preserve essence’s trademark sound of blending sweeping vocals and honest lyrics. With this record, essence naturally communicates an arresting spectrum of emotion through music.

“Music is in my blood, this is what I’ve always done - it’s who I am. And it’s non-negotiable.”

This is essence talking. Talking about, as it were, a suggestion from her grandfather that she consider going to law school, give up making music and get serious. And if you've gotten the sense that she declined, turned away from the well-worn path to conventional success for the sake of her music, you're right. You've gotten the first part of the picture when it comes to essence.

So, yes - just to clear things up right now - essence is her real name. Her parents were flower children in San Francisco's Haight Ashbury, trailblazers of the Cultural Revolution. In a supernatural meeting of manifest destiny and bohemian spirit, her mother was visited in a dream by her unborn daughter - who announced herself as essence. And so essence she was named. Not that this sat particularly well with the young girl. "As kid, I wanted to fit in. I didn't want to be named essence," she says. "I wanted to be a Sue, or an Alice. But I feel like I've grown to appreciate my name."

Though born and bred mostly in San Francisco, the city she calls home, essence moved extensively with her parents as a child - by her early teens she had already lived on three continents and attended over a dozen different schools. Growing up in a creative and chaotic environment, essence felt compelled to express herself from a young age. While her parents practiced the fine arts of sculpture and painting, essence worshipped the Beatles and Bob Dylan, along with her first female pop heroine, Madonna. After studying theater briefly at The American Conservatory, essence decided to chase her own muse rather than bring to life the works of others. She began writing songs at fifteen, finding music to be the ultimate medium to articulate her inner thoughts, and has kept on writing. She worked her way through San Francisco State University as an artist model while developing and refining her songwriting, vocal and guitar skills.

The highlights of her new album include the opening title track ‘Feels Like the Future’ which won the GRAND PRIZE for The Great American Song Contest, as well as placement on NBC's Access Hollywood. A prime example of life imitating art, this song basically wrote itself, upon meeting her future husband and father of her child. Its message is that of one of the great wonders of life: a declaration of love and a brave departure from the past.

The album then takes the listener to a dizzying time of adolescence with the upbeat, and whimsical tune “Yum Yum.” This song depicts the playful innocence of childhood like a nursery rhyme and is yet peppered with double entendres. The spinning vocals and sugary melodies make this song unforgettable.

With a remarkable sequence of transitions, essence fast-forwards to a more somber place to salute her father, in her ballad “How to Say Goodbye.” In a similar vein, “Shape of You” spotlights the aftermath of loss, and the path to healing. It is prominently featured in Jennifer Steinman’s critically acclaimed independent film entitled “Motherland.”

The album is punctuated with two dance tracks “Just Wanted to Dance” and Solarstone’s internationally-embraced re-mix of “Lunar Rings.” These uncompromising electronic soundscapes create transcendent intermissions to the albums more sentient songs.

“Feels Like The Future” is a collaboration among a handful of world class producers: Karl Derfler (No Doubt, Tom Waits, and countless film soundtracks), Count (Rolling Stones, Lyrics Bjorn, DJ Shadow, Galactic), Garth May (producer of previous essence releases "Conception" & "Mariposa,") David Della Santa and Dan Wool. Each producer brought something unique to the mix, so there is dimension to the record as a whole, and yet unity is achieved by the common thread of essence’s songwriting and soaring vocals.

In her eleven year span as a recording artist, essence has earned a devoted following in San Francisco where she has sold thousands of CDs and headlined some of the city's most prestigious venues. She has also shared bills with Tom Petty, Shawn Colvin, Natalie Merchant, Ani DiFranco and Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes.

essence started her music career after partnering with independent music producer Garth May and recorded her first