By Justin Hurst-Kehus, Rock At Night Detroit
Review: ESQ’s single “At Night” – Release date September 15, 2022
Do not ask me for a pronunciation guide for ESQ Music. Esque. E.S.Q. Who knows? Not me. Simpler to define however, is the retro rock single “At Night,” which channels heavy amounts of blues and classic rock.
ESQ Music is (mostly) singer-songwriter Larry Sager, originally from Detroit and currently operating out of California. You can really feel the Detroit in his music as well, with a strong blues influence. The second main influence seems to be classic rock. “At Night” has an arena rock vibe with the reverby vocals and full sound. The guitar is properly chunky, taking lead with occasional guitar fills and a wonderful walk down style guitar lick. The drums are very snare heavy, which gives the song a simple and effective rock and roll drive. The most exciting part of the song to me however, is the excellent backup vocals. Full, powerful backup vocals like this seem to have gone the way of the dodo in a lot of modern music.
There is also a fittingly simple music video along with this straightforward throwback. I always enjoy being able to see how people play (especially if they’re playing something as gorgeous as Larry’s guitar), and the straightforward video is well shot and edited. You can really feel the energy in the room, and it looks like the band was having a blast, which can be a bit of an overlooked aspect in bands nowadays. If you’ve got the time to view the video, I honestly feel like it makes listening to the single more enjoyable, so you can visualize their energy a bit better.
I’m glad to see that California hasn’t taken the Detroit out of Larry Sager and Esq Music. They deliver a straightforward rock n’ roll hit that draws from blues music as well as simple classic rock like ZZ Top or ACDC. It feels like a song pulled out of the past to rock our present.