The last time Sylvan Esso, the electro folk-pop duo out of Durham North Carolina, played in Denver, it was a back-to-back sold out show at the Hi-Dive on South Broadway. This time, the in-demand band will be playing to a much larger audience on Saturday, March 21 at the Gothic Theatre, one of two Colorado stops on their 2015 world tour.
After the release of their debut self-titled album in May of 2014, Sylvan Esso grew exponentially in popularity in an impressively short time. In less than one year, they have released a single, “Coffee,” that peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard 200, performed on both The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Conan, and launched an internationally successful headlining tour that includes shows at Hangout, Sasquatch, Coachella, Bonnaroo and Firefly music festivals. Their road to success has been traveled at a sprint pace - so what is it that has made their music so successful?
Sylvan Esso is a collaboration between singer/songwriter Amelia Meath and electronic producer Nick Sanborn. Meath got her musical start as one of the three all-female members of Appalachian indie-folk band, Mountain Man. Everything about Mountain Man’s sound is steeped in vintage, American-folk patina. Their debut album, Man The Harbor, was recorded with bare-bones production in a turn of the century ice cream parlor.
Sanborn, on the other hand, is a producer by trade and is best known for his glitch, experimental remixes of indie electro-pop songs, and also as the bass player for the psych-folk band, Megafaun. His inspirations lie in synthetic, manufactured sounds and indistinguishable hints of just barely familiar blips of white noise.
They met when Sanborn did a remix of Mountain Man’s song “Play it Right,” which was written by Meath. He sent the song to her and the initial seeds for Sylvan Esso were sowed. One year later in 2013, the two began working together and applied similar treatments as “Play it Right” to original pieces.
Together, the two have been able to make music that appeals to fans a range of music genres and subgenres, leaving very few musical tastes alienated. Meath’s angelic arrhythmic vocals bring life to Sanborn’s blippy, ambient musical environment, and the two construct a harmonious ecosystem. The lightness of her simple, melodic lyrics soften his anomalous sounds and anti-rhythms. Together as Sylvan Esso, the two have discovered a distinctly unique indie subgenre that is unlike anything that has ever existed before.
While the show on March 21 is currently sold out, the duo will return to Colorado on Friday, August 14 to open for My Morning Jacket at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 13 at 10 AM MST right here on AXS.