First Kills: It’s a Miracle if This is Finished
a debut album review by Ghosts of Earth
One year ago, Estevan Munoz and I left Portland together toward the Oregon coast in the rare, blinding sun with just our cameras, a few pieces of equipment and a genuine enthusiasm for the wild of the ocean. It had been a while since either of us had been far from the city and we were both desperate for an excuse to get away. He had asked me to shoot a video with him for a track he wrote. It was firsts for both of us as I’m no filmmaker and he’d not yet been to see the majestic coastline.
We spent the entire ride catching up in depth, reflecting on the current status of our shared existential crises. It’s easy to open up to Este as he’s extremely inquisitive, which I’m certain is a trait that lends itself heavily to his writing. There was no pause in our conversation; 2016 was already an interesting year just a few months in. Fast forward to now and he’s released an entire 10-track musical project.
It’s A Miracle if This is Finished is a collection of memeable reflections from a stumbling, self-aware millennial artist. We hear him struggling to survive the failing economy, bumbling through an evolving dating realm and always reflecting on his mental health and the dreaded ego-processes that exist within it. Despite the weighty content, the project is light-hearted in it’s tone, yet mostly rejects melodic theme. No one beat listens the same, but the album remains fluid in it’s transition from one track to the next.
“Aztec Maverick” (produced by Nascent and Cam O’bi) is a memorable, funk-heavy beat dappled with “nochalantly nihilist” lyrics that serve as a reminder to not take our “selves” too seriously. We’re all just floating on a violently churning, molten space rock anyway, guys. The chorus has excellent vocals you’ll have no trouble singing along to. It’s a short track (too short) with a Salt Bae peppering of 21st century mantras.
not every nightmare is a dream/not all silence is mean
“We All Gonna Spoil” (produced by Baby Couch) a mercurial track, was best set at the moody shore of Oceanside where we filmed that day. The words are indicative of that inner struggle we all face, and here Este is direct in outlining his insecurities for us. Although the lyrics starkly contrast the glorious weather we had, they align themselves with the tumultuous nature of the ocean. Have a look.
a long list of demons and how do i clean them/if i’ve just been dreaming of enlightened thinking
The album on the whole is largely experimental, but silly as some of the content may seem (see “2DRUNK2FUCK“) it doesn’t come off as recklessly produced. It’s easy to see Este has spent an entire year or more in concentrated production of this project and his effort has definitely paid off. Este is a writer, actor, rapper/producer and director currently living and thriving in Portland, Oregon. You’re welcome to stream the full album and if you like it, I suggest tossing him a couple bones to buy it, you won’t be disappointed.