Sylvan Esso is one of those bands that got real big real fast.
Composed of singer Amelia Meath, also a part of the folk trio Mountain Man and Nick Sanborn, who is also a member of the psychedelic folk band Megafaun, the two-man band’s two men have styles that meld together seamlessly, producing art unique to them alone.
The pair reportedly never intended to be a lasting band. The first song to bind the two is featured in their EP album. “Play it Right,” originally written by Meath, was first sung with Mountain Man. After meeting Sanborn, an electronic producer, at some club somewhere along some windy road in the middle of somewhere, Meath asked him to revamp the work. He revived the song with his own breath, and unlike many other songs he had rehashed, this one gave off the impression that he had enhanced its vibe.
Having taken the seed of one song and spun it into something beautiful and new, he knew that this partnership could be worked into something splendid and fresh.
It is that upbeat yet chill and reflective theme carried throughout their single debut EP album that has driven their success. Shanborn’s texturized and sensitive beats and Meath’s saccharine voice collide to make magic. The contemporary sound works to mesh today’s digi-pop with a soulful ancient year old folk sound, producing a combo that is the complete package.
Sylan Esso is something you can dance to, something you can work to, something you can listen to passively or let inspire you.
Their sound is a funky fusion of folk and electronic pop music, a combination which has in the past been tossed aside as being overwhelmingly indie and often bland. Sylvan Esso’s music is intriguing and relatable, catchy yet raw. Theirs are the kinds of songs one might hear in the background while they’re hitching a ride with a friend driving along under a full moon, smiling at the sound and the adventures to come, then waking the next day and craving to hear the same tunes again. It’s unfortunate they only have one album released, but by the looks of their present portfolio, I’m looking forward to hearing what they come out with next.
Meath’s wily lyrics and delicately charming voice, touched by a hint of drunken haze, are poems worth reading as much as they are songs worth hearing.
“I know my words will dry upon the skin, Just like a name I remember hearing. Mom’s gone, do you love me? Blazing summer, cold coffee, baby’s gone, do you love me?” are lyrics from the group’s popular hit, “Coffee,” an upbeat-sounding song with a comparably downbeat theme—a song served piping hot and mixed with cool cream.
The album is packed full of songs that give off the feeling of having been risen from a fuzzy dream into a strangely vibrant world. Their songs are a delicate blend of the whimsical and the down-to-earth.