Posts Tagged ‘Sylvan Esso’

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Grammy-nominated electro duo Sylvan Esso live-debuted a new tune on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!, performing “PARAD(w/m)E” (just pronounced “parade”) and following up with a lyric video for the track on Friday.

Amber Coffman (formerly of Dirty Projectors) and Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner contributed backing vocals (and claps) for Sylvan Esso’s Kimmel performance. “P-a-r-a-d with me,” Amelia Meath commands over a characteristically bouncy Nick Sanborn beat. Take a closer listen, however, and “PARAD(w/m)E” reveals itself to be as dark as it is danceable.

Sylvan Esso’s strong sophomore album What Now earned the duo a Grammy nod for best dance/electronic album, and rightfully so. Kayleigh Hughes hailed What Now’s “fuller, darker, and more chaotic sound” .

Watch Sylvan Esso’s “PARAD(w/m)E” lyric video below, The duo has an extensive 2018 tour planned.

When you listen to Sylvan Esso singer and lyricist Amelia Meath talk about the band’s new album, “What Now”, you quickly learn how profoundly she’s motivated by love. There’s the love of magical sounds and the euphoria she feels when music “lifts you off the earth.” There’s the love for the audience, of connecting with and freeing them through song. And, especially for Meath, there’s the love of dance and of feeling the body (literally) become the music.

The release of What Now, we asked Meath to share some of the stories behind the new songs. She revealed a lot about what went into each track, but also reflected on the kinds of things that can keep her up at night, like whether being in a band matters when there’s more important work to do, how she’s sometimes sad when everything is awesome and how flagrant sexism in the music industry can ruin everything.

“Lyrically, this is mostly me talking to myself. Hilariously enough this song is on the radio now, but at the time I was feeling an immense amount of pressure to write new songs for What Now even though we were still mid-cycle on our first record. Most of the song is spent accusing myself of trying to become a successful musician when there are so many other important things to be doing other than sucking up to the man, trying to get America to think you are cool. Also — getting on mainstream radio is like trying to join a secret society, particularly if you are female. Stations have literally come back to us saying that they already have ‘a female vocal’ in their playlist.

5. Kick Jump Twist

“This is about jumping through hoops trying to get people to love you. Be it practicing your dance moves and sexy face in the mirror, or prepping your audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a song about how we perform our lives — and also, about being in a band and touring forever.”

6. Song

“My favorite manifestation of heartache is wanting to be a piece of music. As in, actually being so filled with emotion and energy that you leave your human body and transcend into pure melody. For real. That is what this tune is about, as well as the reality of being in love versus what love songs and rom-coms tell us love is like — how sometimes a song can make you feel more in love than the real thing. Or at least it gives you a moment to completely feel it, without distraction.”

7. Just Dancing

“I wanted to talk about how Tinder has made it possible to only go on first dates forever. How all of the sudden it is completely possible to be in control of how potential romantic partners see you. How if you wanted to, you could be your own most ideal version of yourself. But you would have to keep on changing who you were dating to keep that beginning of a relationship feeling. How you could live in this false image of yourself, reflected through your partners’ eyes, never landing.”

8. Signal

“It’s about life mimicking technology and technology mimicking life. Searching for truth and honesty in a sea of noise. How, despite all the changes to the ways we go about it, we all still want the same thing any human has ever wanted: to be, connect with other humans and feel understood.

9. Slack Jaw

“Everything is awesome — and I am still sad.”

10. Rewind

“This is about me watching scenes from movies over and over again when I was a kid, learning turns of phrases and dance moves, and how to be a person. The chorus is about repeated viewings on VHS — how when you are rewinding something the picture dims and when you press ‘play,’ the room floods with light again. It is about building your personality from media, and then slowly dismantling it to become an honest human and an amalgamation of your influences from family, friends, movies, music and idols.”

Sylvan Esso, What Now

Three years removed from their debut, the indie electro-pop duo of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn returned with a denser sound and a very different goal than the blissfully direct objective of “making people dance.” The band called What Now a representation of “the inevitable low that comes after every high.” Indeed, Meath and Sanborn dispense with many of the freeing and expansive sounds of their debut,

Sylvan Esso’s spangly electro-pop songs can throb joyfully, even ecstatically. But on “What Now”, even the brashest bashers — “The Glow,” “Kick Jump Twist,” et al — are deepened by the gently reflective ballads that surround them. As producer Nick Sanborn gives weight to the soft static in “Slack Jaw,” for example, Amelia Meath sings of the way being in love can produce a strangely humbling sense of awe: “I got all the parts I’ve wished for / I’ve got everything I need / Sometimes I’m above water / But mostly I’m at sea.”

As its title suggests, What Now fixates heavily on aftermaths, whether it documents music-industry pressures in the grabby “Radio” or, in “Die Young,” faces down a logistical complication Meath hadn’t anticipated: “I was gonna die young / Now I gotta wait for you.” But the album feels most of all like a celebration — of connection, of commitment and acceptance, of movement and sound and the liberation that comes with letting love in.

Acclaimed US electro pop duo Sylvan Esso bought out their warmly received second LP “What Now” out this year .  For quite some time this blog-hyped, neon-synth deploying duo from North Carolina have been in the peripheral vision of the cool kidz’s vision.

The North Carolina folk-meets-electro duo return with a bigger, bolder take on their sound with What Now? While the instrumentals are as euphoric as ever, the album also reflects the troubled and anxious environment in which it was created.

“I think we definitely write music about exactly how we’re feeling at any given moment. When I listen to it, I hear how anxious we were and I also hear how joyous we were. I hear the claustrophobia in the production of what we were working with, and even lyrically, I think I hear us looking around for meaning…” – Nick Sanborn says on the origins of the album’s title, selected in the wake of Donald Trump’s election.

They write bedroom-pop (or is it on-the-go commuter headphone pop?)

Comprising of vocalist Amelia Meath from acclaimed indie folk outfit Mountain Man and producer Nick Sanborn, the pair issued debut LP Sylvan Esso to sizeable praise in May 2014, scoring widespread acclaim and a place on the US Top 40 Album Chart. 
Signed to Loma Vista Recordings “What Now” received similar praise,The LPs lead single Die Young has scored almost a million YouTube views and a recent BBC 6 Music session for Lauren Laverne has spread word of group’s beguiling electro-pop .

Sylvan Esso has always been a duo, featuring the beats and electronics of Nick Sanborn and the voice of singer Amelia Meath. But back in April, right about the time Sylvan Esso was releasing its second album What Now, Amelia and Nick got a bunch of their North Carolina buddies to join them in a studio in Asheville to record some of the tracks from What Now with a big, live band. Members of Wye Oak, The Mountain Goats, Hiss Golden Messenger, Mountain Man and Megafaun got together for a day at Echo Mountain studios, reimagined the songs of Sylvan Esso and captured the whole thing for a visual EP they’re calling Echo Mountain Sessions.

“The songs breathe in this totally different way,” Sanborn told us about the project. They’re “reflected back at us by our friends in our community. It just reminded us what [the songs] were.”

Echo Mountain Sessions includes five songs that originally appeared on Sylvan Esso’s most recent full-length, What Now: “Rewind,” “Die Young,” “The Glow” and “Slack Jaw,” all performed and filmed live at the Echo Mountain studio in Asheville, N.C. 

You can also hear and watch the full group perform the Sylvan Esso song, “Rewind”


Matt Douglas: flute; Ryan Gustafson: guitar; Amelia Meath: vocals; Nick Sanborn: bass; Molly Sarle: vocals; Alexandra Sauser-Monnig: vocals; Jenn Wasner: keys; Joe Westerlund: drums

Hearing a new song from Sylvan Esso always makes for a better day. Today I woke up to an email offering a new track “Kick Jump Twist,” and it’s 4:22 of bubbly joy. Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn have been performing this song in their live shows and now it’s the b-side for a new bit of vinyl, a 12″ titled Radio, which includes two more variations of this effervescent ode to dance. The song was premiered during a DJ set yesterday on WKNC in Raleigh, N.C.

The a-side to this vinyl is “Radio,” which came out in late August.

“Radio / Kick Jump Twist” 12″ single available now via Loma Vista Recordings.

SYLVAN ESSO – ” Play It Right “

Posted: December 9, 2015 in WE LOVE


When we caught Sylvan Esso at this year’s Green Man, the Alabama, frontwoman Amelia Meath made reference to Beyonce a few times during their set—first by singing a snippet of “Flawless” and then by making a comment after the high winds started blowing her hair around. “I feel like Beyonce,” she said, laughing. “If only.” The thing is, there are similarities to Meath and the pop diva; both know how to work a crowd and deliver a high-energy, danceable set. Meath’s confidence as a performer shined on favorites like “Coffee” and “Hey Mami” this year, and though she may not have woken up in the giant platform sneakers she was sporting, Sylvan Esso’s set was, in fact, flawless.

Pure Bathing Culture – Pray For Rain
Portland duo Pure Bathing Culture follow 2012’s self-titled debut with this, a record richer than its predecessor in every sense. There’s not much going on, but the band’s knack for warm melody means you can get lost in every track. ‘The Tower’ and ‘Clover’ charm most, timeless pop songs that move slowly, as if they’ve been out in the sun for too long.


Last month, Pure Bathing Culture put out their glistening sophomore effort Pray For Rain, and today the title track has gotten a remix courtesy of Sylvan Esso. Somehow, the two feel like compatriots, even though they’re not very sonically similar — I guess it’s because they’re both duos, wrangling with sounds that are just a little bit past their peaks. Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sanborn — who just put out a solo EP recently as Made Of Oak — proudly evades the characteristically boring remix route and creates something that can actually stand on its own away from the original track, using its basic structure as more of a guideline than a rule.

“Sometimes when you get asked to remix a song you already love, it can be tough to find a good angle without completely changing the vibe,” Sanborn  “So it was really cool of Pure Bathing Culture to give Amelia and I so much leeway on this stylistically. If there are any house DJs out there who ever get down to 105bpm, this one’s for them.”


Communion Folk-Rock trio Bear’s Den have covered “Coffee” by synthy experimenters Sylvan Esso,  the original song’s a slick sound of suave electronic bliss, with snappy beats and more earworms than a head stuck in soil. Bear’s Den don’t seek to replicate, but rather twist the prime cut into their own signature sounds. Now, although still stuffed with hooks, the cut is a jagged, trip-hop laced piece of ramshackle glory.

It features as part of the upcoming  “Agape EP”, alongside covers  “Stay With Me” by Sam Smith and “Hold On, We’re Going Home” by Drake, and their own new single “Agape”.  The band have also recently been announced for the inaugural Citadel Festival this July, Listen to Bear’s Den’s cover of “Coffee”


Mountain Man’s Amelia Meath and Megafaun/Made of Oak’s Nick Sanborn represent a study of contrasts. Together as Sylvan Esso, they create synthy pop songs falling somewhere between Poliça, tUnE-yArDs and Autre Ne Veut.

Starting off as part of the Appalachian-inspired trio Mountain Man, Meath brings a strong folk influence to Sylvan Esso. Her melodies are unwavering; she conjures a new one in each song using her soft and soothing voice against Sanborn’s beats and production. And Sanborn, who played bass with Megafaun and recently started experimenting with electronic music and producing under the name Made of Oak, juxtaposes her vocal purity with deep dubstep, jarring counter-rhythms and the kind of buzzing that household electronic devices seem to emit before they explode and sizzle in defeat. Under Sanborn’s direction, her voice becomes malleable—sometimes an echo of itself and other times a wordless source of harmonic veneer.


As a result, Sylvan Esso’s self-titled debut is as cerebral as it is sexy. “H.S.K.T.,” the most uptempo on the record, works equally well in a club as it does through headphones. The opening “Hey Mami” serves as commentary on neighborhood catcalling; each time Meath adds another verse or repeats a chorus, Sanborn layers on another bubbling rumpus beneath her clear soprano. “Could I Be,” with Meath’s delay-pedal addled voice creating triplets against itself, coyly alternates between soft subtlety and bold advances.

Sylvan Esso set themselves apart from the synth-pop crowd with their unique take on the style, blending components of folk and electro-pop in a way that works. The duo’s piercing beats and swirling synth melodies serve to both highlight and obscure Amelia Meath’s voice within layers of electronic lushness that gives the album a warm and inviting touch And so the whole album feels like jigsaw puzzle of disparate genres fitting together in strange and lovely ways. In fact, it might just be the greatest crossover sleeper success of the year.