Photos: Sylvan Esso Brings a Kaleidoscope of Energy to Brooklyn

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Photos: Sylvan Esso Brings a Kaleidoscope of Energy to Brooklyn

Amelia Meath unleashes a cluster of truth bombs on Sylvan Esso’s recent single, “Radio,” obliterating the record industry and sexism in a taut three-and-a-half minutes. “You’re so surprised they like you/ You’re so cute and so quaint/ Singing, I got the moves of a TV queen/ Folk girl hero in a magazine/ Faking the truth in a new pop song/ Don’t you want to sing along?” Burn.

Sans snark, those lines are also an apt synopsis of Meath and Nick Sanborn’s unique musical DNA. Both emerged from folk bands—respectively, Mountain Man and Megafaun—to converge into a delicious indie-electro amalgamation. Sylvan Esso’s approach lacks most of the instrumentation of their previous endeavors, save the occasional acoustic guitar in new tracks like “Song.” But they still concoct the most lived-in, organic music that primarily derives from binary code. Sanborn injects his textures with just enough fuzz and calculated imperfection to make each synth hit feel like a living, breathing note, devoid of studio gloss.

On tour, Meath’s careening melodies marry to the Sanborn’s binary orchestras for one of the best live shows today, swallowed in a kaleidoscope of color and fluorescent texture. And yes: Meath definitely has the moves of a TV queen. Photographer Julia Drummond caught the group’s stop at Brooklyn Steel in support of sophomore album What Now, shown in the gallery above. Sylvan Esso is on tour in the US through mid June before heading to Europe.

Song Highlights
“Die Young”
“Hey Mami”