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 →
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.
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 →
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.
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 →
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 →
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 →