Sylvan Esso have that kind of understated yet irresistible charm that has sold out every single one of their live dates since they began releasing music. Coming together from different musical groups, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn formed their partnership in 2013, releasing their debut, self-titled album a year later, which managed to break the Top 40 of the Billboard 200. Their folky electronic style, unconventional subject matter and solid musical style have won them fans across the globe, and this Spring they embark on a huge worldwide tour with dates spanning until September. Ahead of their new release, What Now they played a secret show for fans in London. We caught up with them to find out how exactly they sell out every show and more about the upcoming album.
Notion: Hello guys, tell us about the secret show you played for fans in London?
Sylvan Esso: It was great! You can never really be sure of how a secret show is going to turn out but this was a wonderful experience,
Did you play any of your new stuff from the upcoming album? What was the reaction?
We did, and it went really well. We’ve been playing them all for a little while now (though we did premiere one new one), and
We saw you play Oslo in London last time you toured and there was a lot of dancing. How dancey is the new
Medium to dark roast dancey? 60-75% dancey? Tough to say. Sometimes I don’t realise something we’ve done is
Your shows are always super high energy. What’s the secret to getting the vibe right when there are just two of
The same thing that makes any creative output great: honesty. This will sound cheesy, but we really just try to go out there
Are there any themes to this album? What was informing the sound and lyrics?
‘What Now’ is the phrase I woke up with in my head most often during the year we made the record. At first, it was for selfish
‘Die Young’ is one of our new fave songs. Can you clear something up for us, though? Is the meeting of the person mentioned in the song a blessing or a tragedy?
It’s a tragedy for your juvenile, overly romanticised, misguided image of yourself. It’s a blessing for your actual self.
We also heard it was Nick’s birthday last week. How did you celebrate? Did you ever figure out where that
We celebrated with a cake at Maida Vale and a nice steak for dinner. The tape remains a mystery, as it should.
You’re about to start a mega season of touring. Do you have any pre-show rituals?
We look each other right in the eyes and say “Picnic”. Really.