Sylvan Esso Returns

Sylvan Esso at the Civic

On Friday night North Carolina-based electropop duo Sylvan Esso return to town as a larger more confident presence.  The pair have been receiving positive accolades for their sophomore record What Now?  Earlier this summer I spoke with Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn as they were preparing for their most recent tour.  One of the things that sets Sylvan Esso apart is the uniqueness of their compositions.  I asked both of them to talk about their collective process.  Meath talked a bit about an ill-fated attempt at isolation as a means of highlighting the importance of connectedness to the pair, “We had this really great idea when we started working on this record and the idea was that we were going to finish it in three months…We were like, 'We're going to finish the record in three months and we're going to go to Wisconsin in the dead of winter to a beautiful studio completely isolated where the nearest town is like twenty minutes away.' It was the worst idea…the way you write changes all the time and sometimes you do just have to try something. Everyone talks about isolation being a great idea. Not for me. You can't write pop music in wintertime when there's nobody around, pop music is about sex.” 

Sanborn compares their work to acts like They Might be Giants, who do a tremendous amount with a short punchy numbers.  “I think that's something that we both respond to really strongly and have in our work. It's also like, that's kind of one half of it but the other half is just like with Die Young for example, I think that's the version of that song that it ultimately wanted to be. I think when you first wrote that song, I think the version it ended up as is the truest version of the song…I think we just followed a thread of what that song wanted to be.” 

This instinct has served the pair well as they have developed some of the greatest recent anthems.  Sylvan Esso excellently adapts the passion of their records to the frenetic energy of their live performances.  Sanborn illuminates, “It is weird, I think with any band there's that strange thing where the recording is just a snapshot, it's a record of a moment in time that the song existed in so then it kind of lies to you because a song is a living, breathing thing that is always existing and changing and our live show is moving around.”  Sylvan Esso’s songs grow and morph as part of that live experience.  This will be one of the best shows of the fall come out and see Nick and Amelia generate this exciting show together.


Catch Sylvan Esso with Flock of Dimes Friday night at The Civic.


To Do This Week

Tonight check out Inter Arma at Sibera.  Tomorrow Sylvan Esso is at the Civic and Boyfriend is at the Joy.  The Free Friday Show at Tips is Big Sam’s Funky Nation.  Saturday you can check out the new Lakeshore Landing venue with a free show from Naughty Professor.  Tuesday the Oh Sees are at One Eyed Jacks.


To Listen This Week



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