Sylvan Esso are extraordinary. A year ago the North Carolina duo—made up of Amelia Meath and Nicholas Sanborn—dropped "Hey Mami" on soundcloud. The layered melodies were plush, the instrumentation pleasingly spare, with Amelia's vocal acrobatics key to their appeal. And then there was that synth drop at the midway point. It was the first taste of Sylvan Esso and it had everyone with ears hooked.
Recently the duo joined us on a Brooklyn rooftop with a four-piece horn section (and a dude playing a wine bottle) for a never before performed acoustic version of "Hey Mami" which is both stripped back and souped up. Plus Amelia confessed the inspiration behind the song involved an unfortunate encounter with an oversexed cat-calling asshole.
Watch their performance above and make sure to check out their newly released, self-titled debut album. It's eclectic, inventive, and insidiously joyful, swirling together elements of Feist, The Knife, and 90s R&B.
Special mention to Adam Schatz of Landlady who sorted out the arrangement here. Oh and by the way this new expanded-for-one-day Sylvan Esso lineup also features members of Landlady.
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