by Jaz Bowens
Sylvan Esso, named after the Sylvan sprites from the Sword and Sworcery video game, is not a person like some may think. Instead, Sylvan Esso is a musical experience and experiment by two talented artist; Amelia Randall Meath from the band Mountain Man and producer, DJ and musician, Nick Sanborn.
Meath, along with band mates Molly Erin Sarle and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, have been a part of indie folk rock band Mountain Man since they met during their days at Bennington College in Vermont. Continuing to play with her band while doing extracurricular solo projects has made Meath able to link up with Sanborn for Sylvan Esso.
Sanborn has his fair share of projects going on that keep him on his toes, too. He was originally based out of Milwaukee,WI as a member of Decibully and Headlights. Now in Raleigh, NC, he is apart of bands Collections of Colonies of Bees, Megafaun and Cedar AV. For solo projects, he goes by the name Made of Oak.
Sylvan Esso blends electronic sounds mixed with the bass known to dubstep, fitting perfectly with Meath’s smooth, delicate vocals and Sanborn’s exploration of musical genres. The duo met in an atmosphere they were both familiar with and from their first meeting on they decided to keep in touch to make music together.
“We met in Milwaukee at The Cactus Club when Nick opened for my band Mountain Man,” Meath says. “It is a wonderful place that celebrates love, friendship, loud noise and football. Later we both found ourselves with some good old free time and got really excited about making pop music. Thus, Sylvan Esso was born.”
“We wanted to start a band together because music rules,” Sanborn jokes.“We worked on a remix together, and it went so well that we decided to start trading songs via email, and it just kinda grew from there.”
Once the ball got rolling the duo was able to work together effortlessly. Creating their singles was a learning experience all the while being fun. Sylvan Esso’s sound is quite different then the sound their respective bands play. “Collaboration always lends to new expressions, particularly when it is easy to reach a consensus on what we should do,” Sanborn explains. “Rihanna, Aaliyah and They Might Be Giants inspired us.”
Their songs, “Hey Mami” and “Play It Right”, are just enough to leave fans wanting more. “We wanted to put out a straight-ahead 12″ single with full, a capella and instrumental versions, like dance singles used to be released,” Sanborn says.”
The original versions of the song are free to listen to at Bandcamp.com and the full digital download of the album is available for only $7. Sylvan Esso will be performing Nov. 22 at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia along with Minor Alps. The band is looking forward to playing in Philadelphia and want all who attend to have a great experience.
“I want to see everyone dancing with your friends!” Sanborn says.“High fives! Maybe a tiny make out, maybe just a nice time. Worst case scenario, we all go to Paesano’s afterwards.”