Officially formed only last year, North Carolina duo Sylvan Esso (Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn) is quite prolific. Having come together on a whim (more on that later), it’s surprising that they were able to craft and release a self-titled debut LP within twelve months or so. Nevertheless, Sylvan Esso is a collection of pop gems that revolves around “vivid addictions concerning suffering and love, darkness and deliverance . . .” If you’ve yet to hear their magic, you’ll have a perfect opportunity next week, when they take the stage at Union Transfer on Oct. 24th
If you look into any biographical description of Sylvan Esso, the first think you’ll find is the decree that “Sylvan Esso was not meant to be a band.” Indeed, the project arose when Meath (who’s a member of Mountain Man) asked Sanborn (working under the guise of Made of Oak) to work on a song called “Play It Right.” As if it was written in the stars (to allude to the old cliché), both musicians felt that their partnership had to be extended, so they met in Durham, NC, in 2013 to begin an official team-up.
The pair is careful to clarify that while Sanborn’s penchant for “obliterating dubstep stutters, crisp electropop pulses, hazy electrostatic breezes, and epinephrine dance floor turnarounds” permeates the disc, his behind-the-scenes techniques meld perfectly with Meath’s melodies, creating “ready to play” singles that burst with poppy allure. In a way, theirs is an endearing story, as each member feels that Sylvan Esso fills the void that was apparent in their solo undertakings. You can bet that this artistic attraction will make their performance at Union Transfer especially, well, special.
Also on the bill is Psychic Twin, a “psychedelic electro-pop” endeavor that began two and a half years ago, when New York singer/songwriter Erin Fein wrote some songs that were “intensely personal, nervously rhythmic, and indebted to the ‘80s new-wave of her youth.” Eerily enough, the name of the group is derived from the felling Fein got when she heard “ghostly countermelodies” while doubling her vocals on recordings.
She’s currently accompanied by Brett Sanderson, an electronica musician who adds “a fluid backdrop . . . [of] shimmering synth-rock atmosphere” to Fein’s material. Together, they make pop music that’s both “romantic and mysterious; infused with an ineffable longing for escape, for the unattainable, like the impossible desire to make music with one’s own double.” Needless to say (but why not say it anyway?), Psychic Twin will provide a great complement to the wonders of Sylvan Esso.
As usual, the show is appropriate for all ages; in addition, tickets will only cost you about $15, which is a steal considering that you’re getting to see not one, but two sublime acts. Doors will open at 8:00 PM, with the show starting a half hour later.