By Cameron Lee
March 4, 2017
Durham based indie-pop duo Sylvan Esso recently announced the release of their sophomore album, What Now out on April 28 via Loma Vista Recordings. In addition, an international tour and mini-festival was announced in Shakori Hills on September 28. The event at Shakori Hills in Pittsboro, North Carolina presented by AC Entertainment, Cat’s Cradle, and Sylvan Esso (Sylvan Esso & Friends) will feature Baltimore indie rockers, Wye Oak, art-pop rock group Tune-Yards, Brooklyn-based Helado Negro, and Charlotte’s own, Well$.
Sylvan Esso’s rise has been non-traditional to say the least, the duo consisting of Amelia Meath of indie-folk a capella group, Mountain Man, and producer Nick Sanborn (Made of Oak), a former member of Durham based band, Megafaun initially met and worked on a remix for a song called “Play it Right.” Meath’s mystically folky voice mixed with Sanborn’s spacey and hypnotic rhythm’s created a pop sound the world had been longing for. Their debut self-titled album premiered on NPR’s First Listen in early May 2014, and the equally danceable, smart, dark, and singable brand of electronic music swept through coffee shops and earbuds across the country. “Hey Mami,” “Could I Be,” Coffee,” “Play It Right,” and “Uncatena” are standout tracks on one of those album’s you can just play through on repeat for almost any occasion.
The following year, after the album was released with startling success (#39 on the Billboard 200 and #7 on Independent Chart) Sylvan Esso trekked through the national festival circuit gaining a multitude of fans at each stop. We were lucky enough to catch their set at Bonnaroo in 2015 where we may have heard the loudest opening applause all week, and it seemed like nearly all of the 3,000 plus fans knew most of the words to each song. They also sold-out Neighborhood Theatre in January of 2015 which we all know is a rarity for a new indie group in the Charlotte market.
Now the duo set out for part two of this unlikely music business story, and embark on an international tour for the new album. Three tracks: “Die Young,” “Radio,” and “Kick Jump Twist” have already been released from the forthcoming album, What Now. So now, all we can do is wait.
Sylvan Esso is in Charlotte, NC on May 14 with Lucy Dacus. Check out all of the 2017 tour dates, and the lineup for Sylvan Esso & Friends on Sept. 28 at Shakori Hills.
New song and video “Die Young” from the album What Now out on April 28.