Pop Quiz: Esser

Aidin Vaziri | The first thing you notice about British pop savant Ben Esser – you can refer to him by his last name, thank you – is everything. With an angular haircut, big cartoon features and penchant for dressing like a rockabilly icon, he’s not only one of the year’s most striking new acts, but also musically ambitious. His infectious debut album, “Braveface,” was influenced by everyone from the Specials to Beck. During a recent visit to Rooky Ricardo’s Records in the Lower Haight, he was ready to expand the palette even wider. “I want to absorb as much as I can,” Esser said, flipping through the stacks of vinyl. But we were more interested in that quiff.

Q: So what do you tell your barber?
A: Well, my barber is great. It’s this man called Mr. Ducktail. He only does rockabilly cuts. That’s what he does. He’s partly responsible for my look.
Q: Do you think someday people will go to their barber and ask for The Esser?
A: That would be great. Someone did take a picture of me to the barber.
Q: Give it a few years. I think people are still asking for the Chris Martin.
A: What’s the Chris Martin?
Q: I think it’s just a bad haircut.
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