Our song Super Baked made it to CBC Radio 3’s R3-30 – top 30 list – for 4 consecutive weeks starting July 25, 2016. As of August 15 we’re at #20!

CBC Radio 3 R3-30 (top 30) list for week of August 15, 2016.

Frant’s latest more of the same, while E.S.L. and Hot Hot Heat shine
The Vancouver Sun – Stuart Derdeyn
June 9, 2016

“Eight years is a long time between releases. But the members of this Vancouver/Saltspring Island avant-folk quartet — singer/pianist Marta McKeever, violinist/vocalist Diona Davies, trumpeter/vocalist Tess Kitchen and drummer Joy Mullen — are mainstays in a number of other units. Opener La Playa is sung in Spanish and is something of a declaration of love to Mexico and Spain and beach hangs in Poland. The song has a good groove but compared to the other three tunes it pales. Stolen, the sad blues ode to missing and murdered aboriginal women, not only includes some great organ and trumpet interplay but McKeever’s moving vocal sounds like she is on the verge of collapse — exactly what you want in a ballad about such a miserable reality. Fan favourite Super Baked features killer organ and slinky classic Curtis Mayfield Superfly-style harmonies and a verse by each member in the language of their choice — Polish, German, French, English all appear — and it owns the album. Runner-up is the wonderful Liar’s Bridge with Kitchen’s tasty trumpet pairing with Davies’ violin for a lovely waltz.”

province review june 2016

On the Coast (CBC show)
Review of our new EP Heart Contact
Jump to time mark 40:30
May 31, 2016

Songs You Need to Hear This Week
CBC Music
May 2016

“I’m a sucker for trumpet and violin, and right now there’s no other folk-pop band using those two instruments to such devastating effect as Vancouver’s E.S.L. This simple, evocative cover of Geoff Berner’s “Liar’s Bridge” is from the quartet’s Heart Contact, their first new release in eight years (!). The four-song EP, which also features a guest spot from Dan Mangan, is as big and small as the world, a comfort and a wonder to tuck inside one’s self and share with everybody you know.”
– Andrea Warner

Ride the Tempo
May 2016

“E.S.L. are a female quartet whose musical style cannot be described in simple terms. “La Playa” sparkles with Latin jazz, “Stolen” smolders with smoky bar-blues, the Geoff Berner cover “Liar’s Bridge” bounces in indie fashion, while “Super Baked” has a delicious soul/funk vibe. The last song also shows off their playful side as they gleefully croon, moan and even delve into spoken word (in several languages!). On the other hand, “Stolen” is a dead serious indictment of the past government’s inaction on the murders of indigenous women. Whatever their mood, however, their musicianship is impeccable throughout. A damned impressive teaser. Can we have more please?”

Looking back at the 35th Vancouver Folk Music Festival
The Province
July 2012

“On Sunday they hit the stage again as part of a workshop that featured some of the festival’s biggest names such as Dan Mangan and The Head and The Heart. E.s.l. stole the show, however, and provided one of the weekend’s finest gems when lead-singer/pianist/new mom Marta Jaciubek-McKeever, fiddle player Diona Davies, cellist Cris Derksen, drummer Joy Mullen and trumpet player/rhyme-spitter Tess Kitchen laid down their utterly unexpected and hilarious hip-hop jam “Super Baked.””

Peace, love, and music paint shades of Woodstock at 35th Annual Vancouver Folk Music Festival
Vancouver Observer
July 2012

“When asking fellow Folk Fest attendees what their favorite aspect of the Folk Fest was, I wasn’t surprised to hear that the collective jam sessions and workshops were a hit. Dan Mangan, Wake Owl, e.s.l. and The Head and the Heart had the audience star-struck as they collaborated in a surreal way that included rapping about being baked, a shirt coming off and a cover of Rocky Raccoon.

Folk Fest Song of the Day: I Don’t Buy It by e.s.l.
The Province
July 2012

“Part of festivals that I love is discovering music that I didn’t know about before. This is the case with e.s.l., who are apparently a much bigger deal in Vancouver than I realized. Composed of members of various backgrounds including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, punk bands, pop bands, hip hop and beyond, e.s.l. has turned into a polished, cheeky symphony of cabaret folk pop led by Marta Jacuibek-McKeever.”

Peer reviews – what other artists have said

Bend Sinister was apparently excited to see up play last year and thinks we’re a great band. Aww cmon guys!

And the Burning Hell said we were amazing. Neato!


Does wikipedia count as press? No? Well our page didn’t seem to fit anywhere else on this site.

Press for debut album

See this page for reviews of our debut album, eye contact.


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