The band released its debut, That Is When He Turns Us Golden, on Red Crown Record Empire in 1999. After adding David Motter to the lineup, Goldenwest followed on Burnt Toast Vinyl in 2002. It was a critical hit among the indie crowd and earned Ester Drang gigs with the likes of the Get Up Kids, Wheat, and the Starlight Mints.
After moving to the Jade Tree label, 2003's Infinite Keys featured the quartet of Chambers, McAlister, Winner, and Jeff Shoop. With guests including the Flaming Lips' Steven Drozd, The Pleasure Themes and Get Rich Schemes EP followed on Burnt Toast in 2004. Without Winner, the remaining trio recorded 2006's Rocinate at San Francisco's Tiny Telephone studio.
Ester Drang went on an extended recording hiatus after their fourth LP, with McAlister releasing electronic music as 900X and becoming regular tour and studio drummer for Sufjan Stevens, among other collaborations, including contributions to albums by the National and David Bazan. Chambers formed Native Lights with Johnathon Ford (Pedro the Lion, Unwed Sailor), and Shoop worked with Unwed Sailor and his wife, singer/songwriter Rosie Thomas. Led by Chambers, versions of Ester Drang still performed on occasion in their home state.
With only Chambers and Winner from the original lineup, Ester Drang accepted an invitation to join Echo & the Bunnymen on the North American legs of their world tour in 2016 and 2017. They released the song "The Union" as a tour-exclusive CD-R in the summer 2017. ~ Marcy Donelson & MacKenzie Wilson, Rovi