“Droughts in the Ocean” by Estani

At the heart of her new single “Droughts in the Ocean,” Estani’s vocal harmony is creating a delicate balance unparalleled to any I’ve heard in contemporary R&B, but not without giving a lot of soulful effort. Presenting us with what could be her most powerful performance thus far, Estani crushes the very notion of selling-out her one of a kind artistry in “Droughts in the Ocean,” which I would go so far as to call one of the most exceptional singer-centric indie recordings to debut in the last three months. She’s truly angelic here, and worthy of even more buzz than she’s received to date. 

Official Website: https://estanifrizzell.com/

Though the lyrical premise is a rather simple one, the poetic strength in this track is demonstrated more through execution than it is multilayered linguistics. There’s a bittersweet rhythm to the manner in which Estani strings the words together here, and despite a lot of elegance to the overall instrumental backdrop, hers is an unfiltered, raw contribution that makes the general story being told sound all the more authentic and relatable. Instead of giving us a first-person perspective, this feels really cerebral and deep-thinking, which isn’t the norm in contemporary pop music by any means. 

There’s definitely quite a bit of urgency to Estani’s delivery here, but it’s nonetheless a meticulous performance on her part. I never get the sense that she’s running from something but rather towards an aspiration in this piece, as though her actions are reflecting a desire to break away from the mundane and be experimental where others wouldn’t be so bold. There’s compositional familiarity, but it’s never enough to make me compare what I’m hearing in this track to anything else currently making waves on the radio. Half the battle in this game is originality, but it’s something this singer/songwriter has down perfectly. 

Between the presence of the vocal and the rhythm’s expressive attitude, there’s emotion literally everywhere we look in this piece, and the music video for “Droughts in the Ocean” only adds to the vibe. What makes the passion in this single so genuine isn’t the way it’s being presented, but how; there were definitely numerous spots that could have stood a little more production polish, but they’re made deliberately rough-edged to convey a certain point. Estani will wear no one else’s identity in her quest to achieve higher visibility for her music, and that much is very obvious in this release. 

For pure vocal magic of the best variety, Estani’s “Droughts in the Ocean” needs to be considered required listening in 2021. Not only does it give us a melodic treasure chest any pop fan could fall in love with on the spot, but it actually introduces another shade of its creator’s colorful artistry to an audience desperate for more vibrancy in their daily soundtrack. She doesn’t need to change a thing about what she’s currently doing in the studio, other than putting all of her focus towards developing more gorgeous gems stylized in the same way this song is. 

Zachary Rush