Espers started just a few short years ago as a trio from Philly featuring singer/songwriter Greg Weeks, Meg Baird and Brooke Sietinsons. Their infectious sound is quickly brought them increased attention on the burgeoning Philadelphia loft scene and stints performing with legends like Bridget St. John & Michael Hurley. Over the past 6 months, they’ve dazzled audiences at music festivals in the Midwest & Northeast and have often expanded the nucleus of the group to a mesmerizing multipiece act.
Their magical self titled debut combines the elemental sound of acid-folk with the baroque arrangements of late 60s chamber rock. Fully versed in the sumptuous vernacular of drug music, the cradle of Appalachian song, and the succinct truths of the three-minute pop ballad, Espers is an irresistible collection of sweet and subtle songs essential for fans of Fairport Convention, Pentangle, Jackson C. Franck, Linda Perhacs, Bread, Love & Dreams and Bert Jansch. Espers give us the sound of music the way it should be heard – with the ease, infectious grace and absolute beautyof an ever expansive trio bound for always greater pastures.
hearts & daggers
byss & Abyss
“take a rich compost of everything from Brit-folk reissues to free-jazz improv to outsider heroes like Harry Smith, John Fahey, and Henry Darger to psychedelic freakers like Acid Mothers Temple. Sprinkle with wartime fantasy escapism—hello, LOTR !—then wait a few years. Watch jaded indie rockers and neo-hippies quiver in ecstasy. Like mushrooms in the dark . . . hark, they sporeth: There’s clearly a fertile and diverse folk music revival afoot. “New Weird America,” some have been calling it.
One band scraping resin from both the medieval pipe and trance bong is Philly’s majestic Espers. The mind-meld of acid-lullaby enchanter Greg Weeks and his maenads of baroquean beauty Meg Baird and Brooke Sietinsons, Espers at their core are a trio—acoustic and electric guitar, dulcimer, recorder, autoharp, vintage keyboards. Friends add violin, cello, and various percussion. With beautiful finger-style sonnets recalling Bert Janch and female (sometimes male) vocals haunting the same moonlight as Vashti Bunyan, Espers perfectly balances minimal composition with loose Amon Düül-like jams, seductively strangling Renaissance dirges and laments (think Pentangle/Incredible String Band) with droned “acid leads” that leave you wandering in unknown ancient/future landscapes you knew as a child but now are too frightened to return to. “
NY Village Voice, March 23, 2004
“the medieval meets the psychedelic in Espers, a band that can hark back to the delicate acoustic traceries of groups like Pentangle and the Incredible String Band when it’s not plugging in the fuzz-tone.”
the new york times, march 26,2004
“Philadelphia folk-rock group Espers’ ethereal vocal harmonies and baroque layers of acoustic and electric guitars and dulcimers serve a precise pop sensibility. All the activity is somehow arranged so that each sound- every pealing bell, echoey murmur, undulating acid-guitar line- remains distinct.” -The Chicago Reader
“Deeply psychedelic, situating the events of the album in the twilight neverland mapped by margin walkers Stone Angel, Donovan and Chelsea Girl-era Nico.” – The Wire
“Espers have brought to life a monument of understatement: an album which manages to embrace its influences while simultaneously eclipsing them. ” – pitchfork media
” you can’t help but feel that Espers are onto something – not quite the soft-is-the-new-loud irony of Belle & Sebastian , but a more sinister and trippy picture of a foreboding horizon in the midst of the most beautiful sunset.” — Charles Spano, All Music Guide
“Espers has created something that exists outside of time. I can’t imagine this music ever not existing or coming into existence (short of just appearing to someone at a séance or the like). Espers’ music simply is, and well worth a fling with the devil.”
-Dan Ruccia, Dusted Magazine
“In a genre laden with mediocre acts that all begin sounding the same, Espers have given us listeners something to talk about. I haven’t heard a folk record as lush and beautiful as this in a long time. The ghosts of Nick Drake and John Fahey are smiling right now because Greg Weeks has raised the bar higher than it’s been in a long time. Espers self-titled debut is an exclamation mark at the end of a declaration stating psychedelic pop music isn’t dead.” ~ Brad Rose, FOXY DIGITALIS
“Espers has crafted a unique and beautiful album full of promise and substance —something that isn’t pulled off easily. A recommended listen. ” – Todd Burns, Stylus Magazine
“What’s so stunning is that somehow, Espers creates some supernatural atmosphere that is mystifyingly calming and eerily uneasy in equal proportions.” – WACKINESS.ORG