Sylvan Esso to bring folk, electronic fusion to Tipitina’s

Laura Rostad, Associate Arcade Editor

Sylvan Esso features two musicians who met a couple of years ago after coincidentally playing on the same bill with their former bands. The electronic folk duo is comprised of Amelia Meath, formerly of the a capella folk trio Mountain Man, and Nick Sanborn, an electronic producer under the moniker Made of Oak and former member of Megafaun. The group will perform a sold-out show for it’s burgeoning fanbase 9 p.m. tonight at Tipitina’s.  

“We figured that [we wanted to work together] at Ella’s Deli in Madison, Wisconsin in March of 2013, I believe,” Meath said. “It was after Nick had made the remix of ‘Play It Right.’ We started sending files back and forth the next day.”

Meath and Sanborn wasted no time and released their first album last May. Sylvan Esso’s self-titled debut album quickly peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard Top 200. SPIN Magazine also named it one of the top 50 albums of the year. In the past 10 months, the band has been touring across the country, despite still finding its footing as a singular unit.

“Your role is always different in different bands,” Meath said. “It’s like being with a new romantic partner. I plan on experimenting with the dynamic we have established. I think there is more to be explored there.”

While the album retains a strong sense of continuity, standout tracks include “Hey Mami” and “Coffee.” “Hey Mami” introduces Meath’s delicate, dreamy vocals, which caress Sanborn’s bass-heavy production. Sylvan Esso’s songwriting process varies from song to song, while Meath and Sanborn dabble in all aspects of the creative process.

“The songs on the first record took a while to come into focus,” Meath said. “Imagine us playing hot potato but with music.”

Amidst the fads of remixes and mash-ups, songs can feel so jam-packed with different production sounds and elements that they begin to compete with each other. By contrast, Sylvan Esso refreshingly varies from simplistic stripped down vocals to layered basses and synths without ever feeling sloppy.