WATCH: Brush up on your dance moves to the official video for “Coffee”
LISTEN: “Coffee,” which hit #1 on HypeMachine its first week online, via Soundcloud
“[Sylvan Esso] could sound like deliberately primitive 1970s electro in one song and glitchy, abstract techno in another behind Amelia Meath’s teasing voice” – The New York Times
“Sleek, experimental and infectious” –NPR (one of their favorite discoveries of SXSW)
“Dance music’s take on a folk ballad, merging drafty vocal interludes with a groovy pulse and manic jolts of sound” –Pitchfork
“Sure to woo lovers of folk and electronic music alike through calming, compelling vocals and spellbinding loops and beats.” – SPIN
Sylvan Esso are excited to debut their new video for “Coffee,” directed by Dan Huiting. Filled with swirling colors to match the song’s eclectic beats, we are taken from an Appalachian contra-dance, to a proper Durham, NC house party, and finally to a 1950s-era sock-hop that explodes with a sexy, synchronized dance routine drenched in neon. All the rug-cutting and boogie-ing in the video echo the band’s sizzling live performances, which were extensively praised at SXSW by New York Times, NPR, The Atlantic, People Magazine, The Hairpin,
Following a run of European tour dates with likes of Wye Oak, Tycho, and tUnE-yArDs, Sylvan Esso will embark on a US tour in May, again supporting tUnE-yArDs. They will play major US markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, and NYC, and the full list of dates can be found below.
Sylvan Esso was not meant to be a band. Rather, Amelia Meath had written a song called “Play It Right” and sung it with her trio Mountain Man. She’d met Nick Sanborn, an electronic producer working under the name Made of Oak, in passing on a shared bill in a small club somewhere. She asked him to scramble it, to render her work his way. He did the obligatory remix, but he sensed that there was something more important here than a one-time handoff: Of all the songs Sanborn had ever recast, this was the first time he felt he’d added to the raw material without subtracting from it, as though, across the unseen wires of online file exchange, he’d found his new collaborator without even looking.
Sylvan Esso became a band. A year later, their self-titled debut-a collection of vivid addictions concerning suffering and love, darkness and deliverance-arrives as a necessary pop balm, an album stuffed with songs that don’t suffer the longstanding complications of that term.
These 10 tunes were realized and recorded in Sanborn’s Durham bedroom during the last year, an impressive feat considering the layers of activity and effects that populate them-the dizzyingly crisscrossed harmonies of “Play it Right,” the gorgeously incongruous elements of “Wolf,” the surreptitiously minimalist momentum of “HSKT.” Sanborn’s production is fully modern and wonderfully active. He enlists obliterating dubstep stutters and crisp electropop pulses, hazy electrostatic breezes and epinephrine dancefloor turnarounds.
But this isn’t a workout in production skills or a demonstration of electronic erudition. Instead, his music syncs seamlessly with Meath’s melodies, so that the respective words and beats become a string of ready-to-play singles. The irrepressible “Hey Mami” webs handclaps and harmonies around a flood of bass, a strangely perfect canvas for a tale of dudes hollering at neighborhood tail (and, finally, finding the chivalry not to do so).
“Coffee” sparkles and quakes, patiently rising from a muted spell of seasonal affective disorder to a sweet rupture of schoolyard glee. These pop cuts condescend neither to their audience nor their makers. They are sophisticated, but with none of the arrogance that can imply; they are addictive, but with none of the banality that can entail. There is sensuality and sexual depravity, homesickness and wanderlust, nostalgia and immediacy.
Sylvan Esso represents the fulfillment of their fortuitous encounter by, once again, linking parts that too often come stripped of their counterparts. Here, motion comes with melody. Words come with ideas. And above all, pop comes back with candor.
1. Hey Mami
2. Dreamy Bruises
3. Could I Be
9. Play It Right
10. Come Down
European Tour Dates
3/25 Berlin, Germany – Privat Club #
3/26 London, UK – Oval Space ~
5/12 London, UK -Village Underground*
5/14 Berlin, Germany – Berghain*
5/15 Hamburg, Germany – Nochtspeicher*
5/18 Amsterdam, Netherlands – Bitterzoet*
5/19 Paris, France – Café De La Danse*
# w/ Wye Oak
~ w/ Tycho
* w/ tUnE-yArDs
US Tour Dates
5/26 Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House *
5/27 Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge *
5/28 Englewood, CO – Gothic Theatre *
5/30 Dallas, TX – Granada Theater *
6/3 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom *
6/5 Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda Theatre *
6/7 San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore *
6/13 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *
6/15 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
6/16 Boston, MA – Royale Boston *
6/18 Montreal, QC – La Tulipe *
6/22 New York, NY – Webster Hall *
6/23 New York, NY – Webster Hall *
* w/ tUnE-yArDs