Some of the best musical partnerships have transpired out of timely happenstance – a propitious chance meeting of minds; an opportune moment to fill a void. North Carolina’s Sylvan Esso are a case in point: having both worked on successful projects in their own right, Mountain Men’s Amelia Meath and Megafun’s Nick Sanborn similarly felt that something vital was absent from their respective work.

Following their encounter, Sanborn went on to render a track called ‘Play It Right’, which Meath originally crafted for Mountain Men. He sensed something beautiful could come out of this, and thus ‘Sylvan Esso’ materialised. Here, the duo coalesce the best of both worlds: Amelia’s proclivity for depicting melody syncs seamlessly with Sanborn’s crisp and colourful electronica pulses and muscular drum beats.

But despite the wonderfully modern and active production, this is not a demonstration in electronic enlightenment – instead, ‘Sylvan Esso’’s appeal is predominantly characterised by Meath’s dulcet, rhythmic refrain, but Sanborn’s instinctive response serves as a backbone and perfect lyrical bait for the singer.

Opener ‘Hey Mami’’s jaunty effervescence is a pleasing first impression: buoyed by uninterrupted handclapping, the prevalent melodies juxtaposing the weighty bass lines. Elsewhere the aforementioned ‘Play It Right’ and the concluding ‘Come Down’ are a more subtle, softer and ambient interpretation of the pair’s merged aesthetic, which is, in all, addictive but singular, sophisticated but never arrogant, and defined by a glistening ability to conjure emotion and capture a melody.


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