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Just Announced: David Byrne brings American Utopia back for a Mann Center encore

David Byrne | photo by Natalie Piserchio | nataliepiserchio.com

You just saw him at #XPNFest, but who can really get enough of David Byrne? If you’re still awestruck by his Friday night headlining set, then this is the news for you — Byrne will bring his American Utopia tour back our way sooner than expected, this time with a show at The Mann Center on September 20. Continue reading →

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Hit the road with #XPNFest artists Sylvan Esso in their new “Signal” video

Sylvan Esso | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

Electronic duo Sylvan Esso just released a video for the song “Signal” off What Now. The video is composed of clips from their tour of massive audiences dancing under glowing neon lights, shots of glittering cityscapes and vertigo-inducing rooftop views. It captures playful, candid moments and breaths of composure stolen backstage. Amelia Meath’s buoyant personality and charm is the core of her magnetic performances, and her chemistry with Nick Sanborn gives their shows a compelling energy. Continue reading →

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Play It Right: Sylvan Esso at Union Transfer

Sylvan Esso | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

 

It’s hard to imagine many bands that are more just plain fun than Sylvan Esso. And last weekend during two very sold-out shows at Union Transfer, they both had fun performing and shared their magical sense of passion and humor with an adoring crowd of fans. I had been waiting to see the band again for almost two years, since first encountering them in Wisconsin at Justin Vernon’s inaugural Eaux Claires festival — and getting to see their explosive presence touring behind the just-released What Now did not, of course, disappoint. Continue reading →

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Courtney Marie Andrews at Boot & Saddle, The Record Company at Chameleon Club

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Courtney Marie Andrews | photo by Susy Sundborg | via artist’s Facebook

Courtney Marie Andrews brings her latest (and breakout) album Honest Life to Boot & Saddle tonight, a record whose first songs were written while the Seattle country musician was experiencing heartbreak and homesickness in Belgium. A collaborator of many and a longtime session player, Andrews recently teamed up with Bonnie “Prince” Billy for a duet of the classic gospel tune “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” – a track featured in this month’s Now Hear This installment. Watch “Put the Fire Out” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with The Dove & The Wolf here.

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Now Hear This: New songs by Sylvan Esso, Juana Molina, Colin Stetson, White Reaper, Shugo Tokumaru, Alice Coltrane and more

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Sylvan Esso | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Every month, noted song expert K. Ross Hoffman presents Now Hear This, a sampling of fresh specimens for your consideration.

Let’s see. Cruel April gave us DAMN., Coachella, the debacle-du-spectacle that was Fyre Festival (not actually much a music story, as it turned out)… oh, and Record Store Day. Which, I gotta say, is the one capitalism-based holiday I can fully get behind – not so much for the cavalcade of exclusive releases, which feels more extraneous and vaguely exploitative every year, but for the explicit excuse/occasion to go hang out in record stores, which I sadly rarely do otherwise. And also because quirky devised human-scaled social rituals like that are just great.

I missed RSD this year for the first time in a while, but I made up for it later in the week by swinging by the Numero Group “Factory Outlet Roadshow” tour stop in Kensington: a traveling pop-up shop from the peerless Chicago-based reissue label: where I stocked up on gorgeously-packaged reproductions/assemblages of 20th-century pop ephemera. (Including, to keep things semi-2017-related, the supafunky sample source of Jens Lekman’s megajam “How We Met (The Long Version)” which has also been in my head for about a week.) So far I’ve barely even scratched the surface of my Numero haul – I’ve been much too busy combing through new releases in order to winnow out the month’s absolute finest strains to share with you, dear reader – but I’m pretty amped to dig in deeper as soon as I hit publish! Continue reading →

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Sylvan Esso announce What Now, add Union Transfer date to tour

sylvan esso
Sylvan Esso | photo by Shervin Lainez | courtesy of the artist

Sylvan Esso began rolling out new material last September, sharing the perfectly poppy “Radio” and its b-side “Kick Jump Twist” but keeping details of their sophomore effort underwraps at the time. Today the duo revealed those details: What Now will be out on April 28th via Loma Vista Recordings, accompanied by a multi-month international tour that thankfully includes a headlining date at Union Transfer on May 20th.

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Sylvan Esso returns with a new song called “Radio”

Sylvan Esso | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com
Sylvan Esso | Photo by Jeremy Zimmerman for WXPN | jeremy-zim.com

Sylvan Esso returns with a new song called “Radio,” their first release since their self-titled 2014 debut album. The duo is planning to release their sophomore record sometime in 2017. The new single, “Radio,” will be released on vinyl on November 18th along with “Kick Jump Twist.” Listen below. Continue reading →

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Download a live World Cafe performance by Sylvan Esso of “Play It Right”

Sylvan Esso | Photo by Brittany Salerno
Sylvan Esso | Photo by Brittany Salerno

Durham, North Carolina electronic pop duo Sylvan Esso put out one of our favorite records of the year. Their self-titled debut, released in May, is a textured, lively electronic pop outing that, like tUnE-yArDs, is catchy and poppy, but with innovative arrangements and an eclectic sensibility that fuses bits of dance music, hip-hop and jazz. Singer Amelia Meath (of Mountain Man) and producer Nick Sanborn (of Megafaun) recently appeared on World Cafe (listen here) with an interview and live session recorded at the duo’s Free at Noon concert (listen here). Below, download their World Cafe performance of “Play It Right.” Continue reading →

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Download “H.S.K.T.” by Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso | Photo courtesy of the artist.
Sylvan Esso | Photo courtesy of the artist.

One of our favorite new bands of the year is Sylvan Esso, the duo of singer Amelia Meath & electronic musician Nick Sanborn, Their self-titled album on Partisan is undeniably seductive and filled with fresh sounding, intimate songs. What began as a one-song collaboration between Meath and Sanborn ultimately turned into a full blown recording project. Continue reading →