Slyvan Esso – Shaking Out The Numb, Fall 2021 Tour
With special guest SAMIA
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.
Meath felt it, too. Schedules aligned. Moves were made. And as 2012 slipped into 2013, Sanborn and Meath reconvened in the unlikely artistic hub of Durham, N.C., a former manufacturing town with cheap rent and good food. 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 acknowledges that the world is a tumult of complications by giving you a way to sing and dance with those troubles, if not to will them away altogether.
When Meath and Sanborn talk about Sylvan Esso, they come back to context-to how, before this project, they felt that their solo endeavors often felt short of it, as if they were lacking a crucial component. That is no longer a concern. When Meath sings to Sanborn a melody that she’s conjured and captured, he almost instinctively knows how to respond. And when he delivers to her the backbone of a wordless beat, she adds lyrical bait where he’d only seen white space. 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.
A Message From McMenamins
McMenamins and Monqui Presents are pleased to announce that Slyvan Esso will be performing at Edgefield on Sept. 6, 2021 as part of this year’s summer concert series. Following the trend across the country, we are hopeful that the Governor’s Office will soon provide guidance to allow us to host shows at or near full capacity, with specific safety guidelines in place. While this guidance is pending, bands are booking their summer tour dates, and in order to have any chance at hosting concerts for fans this year, we must begin planning now.
It’s important to note that for our shows to take place, we will need to operate our outdoor concerts as close to full capacity as possible. Given the fact that our first concert is scheduled to take place months after every American 16 and older will have been eligible for vaccination, and the low risk for outdoor transmission, we are confident that we can do so. As we have for over a year now, we will adhere to any state-mandated COVID precautions in place at the time of each show to ensure the safety of our patrons and our employees.
We will continue to keep our ticketholders updated on any requirements or restrictions that are in place at the time of each show. If a show must be cancelled or rescheduled, customers will receive a full refund or have their tickets honored for the new date. All information regarding our events will be emailed to ticketholders as it comes in and our website will be updated regularly.
We greatly appreciate the support and patience of our fans, who are eager to join us on the Edgefield lawn again. The summer is looking bright, and we look forward to normal operations, with the necessary safety measures.
Jimi Biron, McMenamins Music Director
Jamie McKillop, GM of Monqui Presents