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Sylvan Esso on Wikipedia
Sylvan Esso
Sylvan Esso, MS Dockville, August 2015.jpgSylvan Esso performing in Hamburg, Germany, in 2015
Background information
OriginDurham, North Carolina, United States[1]
  • Electropop
  • indie pop
Years active2013 (2013)–present
LabelsTrekky, Partisan, Dine Alone, Loma Vista Recordings
Associated acts
  • Megafaun
  • Mountain Man
  • Made of Oak
  • Flock of Dimes
  • Amelia Meath
  • Nick Sanborn

Sylvan Esso is an American indie pop duo from Durham, North Carolina formed in 2013.[1] The band consists of singer Amelia Meath (Mountain Man) and producer Nick Sanborn (Megafaun, Made of Oak).[1] They made their debut with the single "Hey Mami" and released their eponymous debut album on Partisan Records on May 12, 2014 (2014-05-12),[2] which reached No. 39 on the Billboard 200.[3] Since then they have released three further singles and toured internationally.


  • 1 History
    • 1.1 2012–2013: Beginnings
    • 1.2 2014–2015: Sylvan Esso
    • 1.3 2016–present: What Now
  • 2 Band members
  • 3 Sound
  • 4 Touring
  • 5 Discography
    • 5.1 Albums
    • 5.2 Singles
    • 5.3 Remixes
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

2012–2013: Beginnings

Lead singer Amelia Meath, who was at the time involved with her trio, Mountain Man, created the vocals to the song called Play It Right. She later met electronic music producer Nick Sanborn in Milwaukee at the Cactus Club,[4] performing at the time solo as Made of Oak,[5] and asked him to make a rendering of her single, Play It Right, in his own way. From 2012 to 2013, the band slowly formed. Meath had returned from a year-and-a-half tour with Feist and was looking for an affordable place to live, thus landing in Durham with Nick[4] and began making their album, with all of their songs being recorded in Nick Sanborn's apartment bedroom. Sanborn expressed that his music "syncseamlessly with Meath's melodies, so that the respective words and beats beca string of ready-to-play singles."[6]

2014–2015: Sylvan Esso

Main article: Sylvan Esso (album)

Sylvan Esso is the group's eponymous debut studio album, released May 12, 2014 (2014-05-12) via Partisan Records.[1] The album reached No. 39 on the Billboard 200 and No. 7 on the Independent Albums chart,[7] and as of November 2014 has sold 39,000 copies.[8] The single "Hey Mami" was named Paste Magazine's No. 1 song of 2014. They made their network television debut on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on July 9, 2014, performing the single "Coffee".[9][10] It received considerable airplay in the US, increasing the profile of the band nationally.[11] In August 2015, the band released the single "H.S.K.T.", which included a remix by Hercules and Love Affair.[12]

In August 2015, the band also released "Jamie's Song", specially recorded for NPR's Radiolab, as a tribute to a story about bipolar disorder.[13]

2016–present: What Now

In September 2016 the band released the single "Radio"[14] back to back with "Kick Jump Twist".[15] A video for the latter appeared in January 2017.[16] In late February the group released “Die Young” along with a music video.[17]

On April 28, 2017 the band released their second studio album “What Now” on Loma Vista Recordings.[18]

Band members

  • Amelia Meath – vocals
  • Nick Sanborn – instrumentals, production


"Sylvan Esso combines the organic, folk-like qualities of Meath’s vocals with electronic beats and found sounds engineered by Sanborn (bass player for currently-on-hiatus Megafaun). It "embraces saccharine synths, bright xylophone tones, and dance beats".[19] The resulting songs are a satisfying stew that is both rich and sparse."[20] The two accomplish a wide span of tone to their music as well. The songs can range from "...moody and dark, and at others bright and bouncy, grounded by dense, hypnotic beats." One reviewer, Hazel Cills, said, " Nick Sanborn’s synth-driven songs merge the traditional structures and vocal harmonies of folk with ethereal and sultry electronica"[21] The messages in the songs also have a wide span from dealing with being cat called to heart breaking love stories. Meath says, "These songs were meant very specifically to be catchy, to appeal to a wide audience..." The two intentionally attempt to use the voice as an instrument so that it becomes difficult to separate the music from the lyrics.[22]


The band's first tour began on December 30, 2014, in the Phillip Island, Australia, Phillip Island Circuit (Beyond The Valley). They continued to tour in Australia until their January 3, 2015, show in Northcote, Australia. They then played four shows in the U.S. (Atlanta, Charlotte, Charlottesville, and New York), then one in Quintana Roo, Mexico. They went to Europe until March 2, traveling from Lille to Munich and even to Amsterdam. On March 21, 2015, the band brought the tour back to North America, playing Washington. The tour ended April 25, 2015, in Vancouver.[23] Also in April 2015, Sylvan Esso played both weekends of Coachella.[citation needed] Other 2015 dates saw the band perform at The Firefly Music Festival 2015, in Dover, DE, The Eaux Claires Music & Arts Festival in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on July 18 and on July 25 at the Wayhome Festival in Oro Medonte, Canada.[citation needed] Sylvan Esso played on Friday, July 31, 2015 at Lollapalooza in Chicago, Illinois.[citation needed] The group also performed both weekends of the 2015 Austin City Limits Music Festival in Austin, Texas.[citation needed]


  • Sylvan Esso (2014)
  • What Now (2017)


  • "Hey Mami" (2013)
  • "Coffee" (2014)
  • "H.S.K.T" (2015)
  • "Radio" (2016)
  • "Kick Jump Twist" (2016)
  • "Die Young" (2017)


  • Slow Motion - Phox (Sylvan Esso Remix)[24]


  1. ^ a b c d Monger, James Christopher. "Sylvan Esso - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sylvan Esso - Chart history | Billboard". Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  4. ^ a b Lawrence, Jordan (July 17, 2013). "Interview: Sylvan Esso talks debut single, bright future". Indy Week. Retrieved April 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ Simon, Scott (May 10, 2014). "The Music Of Oak And Forest Sprite Blend In Sylvan Esso". NPR. NPR. Retrieved March 27, 2015. 
  6. ^ Willoughby, Zoey. "Biography". Partisan Records. Partisan Records. Retrieved 21 February 2015. 
  7. ^ "Sylvan Esso - Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved July 16, 2014. 
  8. ^ Murray, Gordon (November 21, 2014). "Mr. Probz Rides 'Waves' to No. 1 on Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  9. ^ Kaye, Ben (July 10, 2014). "Watch: Sylvan Esso make TV debut on Fallon - Consequence of Sound". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Sylvan Esso television debut on Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon! - Partisan Records". Partisan Records. July 10, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  11. ^ Carley, Brennan (December 18, 2014). "SPIN 2014 Exit Interviews: Sylvan Esso". Spin Media. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  12. ^ "Sylvan Esso - H.S.K.T.". Discogs. Retrieved 2015-10-10. 
  13. ^ "Sylvan Esso & Jaime's Song". radiolab. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  14. ^ "Sylvan Esso release first single from upcoming sophomore album with "Radio"". AXS. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  15. ^ "Sylvan Esso Returns With 'Radio'". Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  16. ^ "Sylvan Esso share cathartic new video for "Kick Jump Twist" — watch". Consequence of Sound. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2017-01-26. 
  17. ^ "Sylvan Esso Announces New Album 'What Now,' Releases New Single 'Die Young'". Retrieved 2017-04-28. 
  18. ^ "Sylvan Esso: What Now Album Review | Pitchfork". Retrieved 2017-04-28. 
  19. ^ Hughes, Hilary (May 16, 2014). "Sylvan Esso Get Grooving On Strong, Selt-Titled Debut". Elle. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  20. ^ Aldredge, Michelle (February 15, 2015). "sylvan esso: "collaboration should make you aware of your own strengths and weaknesses"". Gwarlingo. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  21. ^ Cills, Hazel (May 15, 2015). "Sylvan Esso Make Folk Go Pop". Wondering Sound. Retrieved April 20, 2015. 
  22. ^ McCue, Lori (March 12, 2015). "Sylvan Esso gets with the programming". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 
  23. ^ Kuchik (October 30, 2014). "Sylvan Esso announce spring tour dates". AXS. Natalie. Retrieved April 19, 2015. 
  24. ^ "New Music Guide : The Neu Bulletin". DIY Magazine / DIY Presents. September 30, 2014. Retrieved March 28, 2015. 

External links

  • Official website
  • Sylvan Esso on Partisan Records label
  • Sylvan Esso at AllMusic

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