Signing Story: Esther Rose

Date Signed: Oct. 21, 2022

Label: New West Records

Type of Music: Indie / Folk / Americana

Management: [email protected]

Booking: [email protected]; [email protected]

Legal: Kent Wolfenberger

Publicity: Brady Brock / New West Records, [email protected]


A&R: George Fontaine, Jr.

Esther Rose has always taken charge of her career. As part of the New Orleans indie scene, she recorded her debut album at Mashed Potato Studios on her own dime. That space is owned and operated by Sam Doores, a fellow Big Easy musician who plays guitars with Americana group The Deslondes. Rose has extensively toured with the likeminded act.

Once her introductory recording was complete, Rose uploaded the tracks to Bandcamp. It wasn’t long before Father/Daughter Records expressed interest in her talents. Albums two and three were subsequently released under their banner. But back when Rose’s initial platter was hitting eardrums, one of the first to purchase it was George Fontaine, Jr. of New West Records. Coincidentally, The Deslondes had already signed to the respected label. Spurred on by a spark of recognition, Rose emailed Fontaine to express thanks for the purchase, and the two began keeping in touch. 

“That was eight or nine years ago,” reveals the sagacious songwriter. The pandemic affected everything in those intervening years. “So much in my life had changed,” she muses. “My band had changed. My location had changed. And the music had changed.” Thus, switching labels made sense. 

Rose sent her new material to Fontaine. Before long, he and everyone else at the label had fallen in love with her song “Chet Baker.” Rose likewise perceived the label to perfectly suit her needs. 

Despite this confidence, Rose had her attorney review the contract before signing. “I moved pretty slowly, just thinking things over and making sure I was comfortable,” she tells. When she broke the news to Father/Daughter, they were entirely supportive. As the singer puts it, “They’re 100% artist-first people.”

In the end, Rose was comfortable signing with New West because of their enthusiasm. She recommends anyone picking between labels to select the one that expresses the most excitement. As she puts it, “Find the people that are genuinely stoked to work with you.” Andy Kaufmann