SYLVIE – ” Sylvie “

Posted: October 4, 2021 in MUSIC

Last month, a new band called Sylvie — featuring Drug Dealer’s Benjamin Schwab alongside Marina Allen and Sam Burton — announced a self-titled debut EP on Terrible Records. At the time, they shared a song called “Sylvie,” but it wasn’t a case of a band writing an eponymous song. Rather, it was a cover that gave the band its name and inspiration in the first place. The original is an obscure ’70s track by Ian Matthews, and the band had taken to referring to such songs as “a Sylvie” — “a song from the past that’s incredible but for whatever reason, is basically unknown.” It’s a fitting mission statement for the band, who make music that could’ve been beamed in from unknown corners of bygone decades.

Sylvie is a trio whose songs come at you like ghosts on the morning marine layer creeping up Laurel Canyon — and a band whose name and inspirations have a backstory.

As for the band itself, it’s led by Benjamin Schwab (of Golden Daze and Drugdealer), who is joined by singer-songwriters Marina Allen and Sam Burton. Schwab’s father, John, fronted the L.A. band Mad Anthony in the 1970s, recording an album that never saw the light of day. Benjamin discovered the tapes years later in a closet and was introduced to a sound that resonated deeply with him.

Case in point: Sylvie have returned with “Falls On Me,” their first original composition. It’s a gorgeous, languid thing, and it is certainly steeped in song writing and aesthetics of the past, particularly the Laurel Canyon scene. Here’s what Schwab had to say about it:

A lot of the songs on the EP feel like they’re about other people’s lives, my experience with them, or a time and place in the past, but this is the one off the EP that is directly about my life and my growth. When I was writing “Falls On Me” I was sorting through all these emotions that had built up over the past 5-10 years. Through relationships ending, bridges burning, or whatever it was, I found myself at a place where I felt very distant from the source. Repeating similar patterns, being heartbroken over someone over and over again or whatever it was. I found myself really lost to the point where there was really no other place to go but home. The first half of the song explores this feeling, and then 3/4 of the way through the character meets a friend who reminds them of themselves. There is this person who reminds them just enough of who they are so that they can see themselves again or what it would be like to return home, back to the source, to yourself. This song to me is about deliverance and a returning home that took me many years to arrive at. Itʼs sung by Marina Allen, who really did such an amazing job delivering the sentiment.

Both Allen (“Candlepower”) and Burton (“I Can Go With You”) recently released notable albums as well along with Sylvie’s singles for total immersion in ’60s/’70s finery.

Sylvie is out 10/1 via Terrible Records. 

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