Page and Portner — a Canadian choreographer and dancer who’s worked with artists like Sylvan Esso and Justin Bieber — met on Instagram in 2017 and got married the following year. Every time we've improved that, our audience has gotten bigger. “Free Love is the first realization of a thing we've been shooting at for a long time, which is for Sylvan Esso to not feel like two people,” Sanborn says. Their third album, Free Love (out September 25), takes a somewhat different approach. It's something that you can't have with somebody that you haven't worked with for this long.”, Seven years into their creative partnership, Meath and Sanborn still find new joys in making music together. The goal is to make songs that touch parts of people's being that haven't been touched before, to write truly original songs about things that people have sort of heard about but then point [out] a new thing. I publicly came out at first when I was 14. It was super easy. For Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath of Sylvan Esso, the friction is essential to what makes their creative collaboration tick. Even while talking to her through a screen, I could see her inclination to use flitting hand motions to punctuate her thoughts about the idea of “free love,” stepping into a producer role on the forthcoming album, and making pop music that has the power to unify. Elliot Page and Emma Portner started dating after meeting on Instagram in 2017 and got married about six months later.. October 4, 2020. It traffics in intimacy and self-preservation in the face of opening oneself up to love. One of the things I adore so much about her is that she's endlessly, and in a positive way, curious about the world and every living thing in it.”. How cool it is that we've made these weird songs and they resonated with that many people? Offers may be subject to change without notice. What would you say makes you and Nick a good team? All of those were represented in it, and it's such a poke. They've been supportive of each other's career … “Free Love shows us embracing the complexity of being human, with pop music that doesn't undercut how complicated being a person is,” he adds. “That being said,” she adds. In it, she gazes at the camera and keeps herself afloat while singing the words to the record’s intro track, “What If.” Her lithe voice, processed through a vocoder, sounds eerily calming as glitchy electronic noises swell into a crescendo around her words. I realized [around this Pride month] that it could be quite useful [to come out], for me, and also for other people who are in a similar situation — particularly because bi-ness is so easily made invisible. They’ve released two albums together, with “What Now” earning a … After touring through the summer and fall of 2019, Meath and Sanborn began working on their third album. Each song is equal parts surprising and delightful. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons By Katelyn Ragland. In a year full of conflict and struggle, a proclamation of the strength and limitlessness of love is just what society needs. them, a next-generation community platform, chronicles and celebrates the stories, people and voices that are emerging and inspiring all of us, ranging in topics from pop culture and style to politics and news, all through the lens of today’s LGBTQ community. Durham's a super wonderful queer space to be in. “So it's obviously, on our tiny little scale, a huge bummer that all of that went away.”, But both agree there’s an unexpected upside to being forced to scale things down. New album Free Love out 9/25/2020 on Loma Vista Recordings. From Sylvan Esso through What Now. In doing so, Sylvan Esso redefines what it means to put on a live electronic music performance. Then 24, Meath was a member of Mountain Man, an all-female North Carolina trio who’d been enlisted by Feist as backup singers on her Metals tour. ... Now married, the couple write more solidly as a unit. After you came out to your family and they didn’t affirm your bisexuality, how did you eventually come around to accepting it for yourself? With Sylvan Esso and Mountain Man, do you feel like those two different bands are different extensions of yourself? That was the most exciting part of this record — all of the sudden recognizing that so much of the work that I've been doing for this whole time was being a producer. On their third album, Free Love, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn embrace the complexity of being human. The goal is trying to talk about truly intimate things, but I chose two different routes. “I remember her being like, ‘It's sort of electronic music and he's going to make beats and I'm going to sing and it's going to be massive and amazing.’ She just had a big grin on her face, overflowing with ideas. Elliot married Emma Porter two years ago Credit: GETTY IMAGES. Every part of my being. That’s certainly true of Meath, who, at 31, is ready to talk about her queer identity for the first time to the press. My singing voice is the negative imprint of my insides, I feel like an actual wind instrument [when I do it]. The duo, who blends folk melodies and electronic production, first broke out with their 2014 eponymous debut album, whose delicate songs tend to zoom in on one simple thing — a cup of coffee, a cat call — and evoke the worlds of emotion that can arise from them. But it's also about me and Nick stepping out into the world, trying to be honest and authentic in new ways, all the time.”. [We wanted] it to feel like it was one expression. That's when it spans everybody and it's just undeniable. “I was referring to the record itself [coming out]. The rest of the record is blistering, honest, and deeply funny; songs touch on success (“Slack Jaw”), the versions of ourselves we choose to put on display every day (“Just Dancing”), and an album by the short-lived Washington rock band The Microphones (“The Glow”). To us, there's always this fear that the next step from where we're at now is one where you have to reduce it a little bit further, and we're just not interested in that. They look a lot like the tree spirits in Princess Mononoke.” There you have it…Sylvan Esso is derived from an iOS indie game released in 2011 (+ extra nerd points for the Princess Mononoke reference). Every now and then, there's an amazing record that does it, like Taylor Swift's 1989, where everybody decided it was good. Then we don't talk about my songs.”, She rolls her eyes and smiles. But those looking to dig deeper will find Meath’s tongue-twisting choruses (“Sainted halo, underworld goth vibes/You'll do fine/For tonight,” Meath sings on “Ferris Wheel”), which walk hand-in-hand with Sanborn’s vibrant, supportive production. Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn make up the electronic-folk duo known as Sylvan Esso, which pays a visit to The Mill and Mine in Knoxville on Friday. They're one and the same to me. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Prune had this matchbook that had a pin-up [model] on the front of it, and I kept it like a little creep and put it in my wallet to be like, “I love food, and also I really like this lady. When I came out to him, he was like, "Yeah, of course, totally." I've tried to delve back into high school shit, and just have completely been unable [to]. I don't know.” [laughs] I got to write to [the owner] Gabrielle Hamilton about that, recently, after her beautiful article [about closing the restaurant]. Available now! I want to hear it all the time. “The growth that we're actually interested in is just being a better band,” Sanborn says. “In everything you write, there are so many different layers to the truth,” she tells them. “It became this guiding idea [that she was] acknowledging the anxiety of the present while also reflecting on all different forms that love has taken in her life,” Sanborn tells me over the phone later. Matthew Priestley, Meath (left), in the trio Mountain Man, before she teamed up with Sanborn (right), who was then recording under his Made of Oak project, | Every queer person that I know was always very delicately talking about my queerness. Portner called it a "movement film," and it featured the two dancing to the song "Slack Jaw" by Sylvan Esso. So many queer people were seeking me out for years, for the music that I'm making. them. Sylvan Esso is about songs that are for rooms of people to be moving in and feeling those feelings together. They released their first album “Sylvan Esso” in 2014, married in 2016, and released their sophomore album “What Now” in 2018. “She's like, ‘Yeah, I think I'm in love. The married couple Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn make up Sylvan Esso. So [there’s] just a bunch of little cute baby queers coming up and being like, "We named our pet bunny Sylvan.”. Credit: Also a member of the folk trio Mountain Man, Meath is the vocal powerhouse and lyrical mastermind of Sylvan Esso. “Every other time I've finished a record, I'm not interested in hearing it again. © 2020 Condé Nast. “It was like, ‘Oh no, this is bad.’”, Free Love was meant to accompany a massive tour, spanning multiple festival appearances (including Bonnaroo’s legendary SuperJam) that would’ve put the record’s most intimate moments into the hands of hundreds of thousands. All rights reserved. “She’s able to point out when I'm succeeding and when I'm failing in a way that doesn't ever feel like a put down or hyperbole,” Sanborn says. “It feels like MySpace again,” Meath says. In July, the pop duo Sylvan Esso shared the first teaser video for their forthcoming album Free Love, featuring vocalist Amelia Meath bobbing in a vast body of water. “Every day, we would look out the window and see less and less traffic,” Meath says. Soon after, she told her boss that she had plans to record songs with the musician Nick Sanborn, who she had first met when she was 22. Meath, 32, and Sanborn, 37, first began working together in 2013, when the former asked the latter, under his Made of Oak project, to remix a Mountain Man song called “Play It Right.” The two realized their styles meshed better than one lone track could express, so they teamed up as Sylvan Esso. “Even when she's resting, I can see her mind moving. Is it your goal, in Sylvan Esso, to make music that’s unifying? If you were to describe your own singing voice, how would you do it? Before Fame. Also “free love,” the phrase, is so gross. There is that sense of almost guilty realization that when we love somebody else, a big chunk of that is loving the version of ourselves that we can tell that they see.”. 10 funny mockumentaries to remind us about the absurdity of life, Family-friendly Halloween films for boos big and small, How Sufjan Stevens made an upbeat album about the 'crisis of humanity', Yusuf/Cat Stevens breaks down every song on his seminal breakthrough, Wayne Coyne on near-death experiences, Ken Burns, and the Flaming Lips' new album American Head. Straight people don't do that.". Where does your love of dance music — or music to dance to — originate from? Realizing that is one of the many stories behind their beautiful new album, Free Love, the third Sylvan Esso record. I went back in [the closet]. (Sanborn is usually the “math-brained production wizard,” she says.) The whole album is about flipping through all of the different loves that exist, and trying to find them again. Now, I've totally stepped more into the role of producer, and we're actively co-producing in this totally new, really exciting way. ... Sylvan Esso – From the Satellite | Oct 20, Nov 17, & Dec 1 at 8PM; At first glance, their songs could seem straightforward, with recurring themes of love, intimacy, friendship, solitude, and breaking conventions. Free Love, out Sept. 25 via Loma Vista, expands Sylvan Esso’s expertly laid groundwork across ten intricate songs. What Sylvan Esso have done is let some of the day-to-day realities of being a married couple subtly make its way into the songs. this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. I can't think of a better present.”, Meath interjects. My singing voice is so personal in that it is exactly who I am, and there's a certain ringing vulnerability in that. For a long time, I didn’t really want to come out. It was the first time that I figured out that food was art, which was really exciting as a teeny little weirdo. Though she has hinted at her queerness by switching around pronouns in live performances and using merch to raise funds for LGBTQ+ organizations, she gradually came to the conclusion that coming out to the world could help her and her LGBTQ+ listeners. With this, I just f---ing love it. Instead of going for straight doom-and-gloom this time, Meath began to reflect on all the different times and ways she had loved others. Instead, they’re Zooming from Durham today (Meath from their home, Sanborn from his car in a parking lot several miles away, en route back from their studio) and plotting their most DIY rollout since 2014. That is the true magical cultural spell. At first, I would write lyrics and melody, and he would do production. Also, no one pays for music anymore, so I wanted to highlight that. She made her television debut with Sylvan Esso on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on July 9, 2014. Success is in learning the other’s language and using it to grow. A few short years later, I was side stage at [Bon Iver’s festival] Eaux Claires watching her and Nick headline, watching thousands of people singing every word.”, In a pandemic-free world, Meath and Sanborn — the musical duo now beloved as Sylvan Esso — would soon be trotting out their third album, Free Love, to massive festival crowds around the world. (Sanborn is usually the “math-brained production wizard,” she says.) Realizing that is one of the many stories behind their beautiful new album, Free Love, the third Sylvan Esso record. The pair also talks about why it’s good for them to fight when working together on new material. Elliot messaged Emma and the rest is history, with the … When the Canadian singer-songwriter Feist was booked to perform at Coachella in 2012, she knew two things: first, she needed a full orchestra, and second, she needed to bring Sylvan Esso singer Amelia Meath with her. Lia Clay. After Coachella, Meath returned to Durham, N.C., where she’d moved after decamping from Brooklyn. It’s also for people to get together, it's a true community builder and unifier. I've spent a lot of time trying to strip away affectation from the way I sing. The duo’s self-titled 2014 debut paired Meath’s “secretive, intimate” songwriting with Sanborn’s propulsive and sticky production, and they were soon selling out clubs around the country and booking major festivals like Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Austin City Limits. “Because, really, so often what we're doing is just describing the thing that the other has made.”, Though Sylvan Esso have danced around their opinions on traditional success in their music for nearly a decade now, both say Free Love comes closest to what they’ve been told success should feel like. It's fucking not. In 2017, they returned with their cheekily titled second album, What Now, led by the flippant lead single “Radio” (sample lyrics: “Singing I've got the moves of a TV queen/Folk girl hero in a magazine/Faking the truth in a new pop song”) that rejected any boxes people wanted to put them in while wrapping their message in deliciously synthy pop packaging. Meath is also a fabulous dancer, and movement continues to be a crucial aspect of her self-expression. It’s almost creepy how prevalent those themes are in the world now.”. We have a super queer club called the Pinhook in the center of town, it's been here forever. “Free,” the song itself, [is about] the fact that so much of love is about trying to figure out how you want to be perceived. I think it might be because we're a male and female duo, with female vocals so everyone assumes it's a soothing thing or whatever. “What Amelia was doing was reacting to this increasingly tense world around us,” Sanborn says. We're going to break through,’” Sanborn says. When you say that queer people came up to you, because of your music, what kinds of things were they saying or expressing? Sylvan Esso Married; What Now is the studio/Mixtape Album by artist/Rapper/DJ Sylvan Esso, and Album has highlight a Pop sound. ‘Dreamy Bruises’ off of Sylvan Esso’s debut album. I think [the shame] was around not wanting to claim something that I wasn't 100% sure of. The two released their eponymous debut album on Partisan Records on May 12, 2014. Married couple and musical duo Sylvan Esso released their third album, "Free Love," Sept. 25. I am down. Put me in a thong, let me do a hit! That's why real love hurts so much, because you actually have to show who you are to somebody. All of the walls that used to exist between us and divide our roles just slowly came down through the maturity of communication. Success is building upon an expanding legacy. For a band that’s leveled up with every release, it’d be too low-hanging a fruit to say the sky's the limit for Sylvan Esso. Success is making one of the year’s most resonant, warm, necessary albums. Then, in between their first and second album, they got married — something the pair are only now comfortable discussing in public. And we're going to make a wicked record,’” Feist says with a laugh. It was released/out on 2017 in English dialect, by some Music Recording Company, as the follow-up to last studio/Mixtape Album. The apex of that intersection comes halfway through the album in the form of “Free,” a song the band says served as the key that unlocked the rest of Free Love. Listeners who approach them on that level alone will find plenty to be thrilled with. © Copyright 2020 Meredith Corporation. It's something that I've been talking about with my closer group of friends for years. Sylvan Esso was born out of the same kind of adventurous collaboration. She first came out as bisexual to her family at age 14, and again to her close friends in her mid-20s. As a semi-public figure, the more I give myself the power to say how I feel and think, the more I can hopefully open the door of others thinking, "I like that girl, she likes girls, too. Meath and Sanborn began working on Free Love in early 2019, two months after wrapping their tour in support of their critically acclaimed sophomore effort. Meath and Sanborn wed in 2016, and you can clearly hear the echoes of married life bounce off the walls of the album. Sylvan Esso recently released their third album Free Love, and on the next World Café, they share live performances of the new songs. Unlike so many other art forms, everybody feels the right to have an opinion about music, which is what drew me to it in the first place. The arenas will (god-willing) still be there next year, though. Jokes Meath, “So many of our songs have been about the collapse and/or ruination of society through excess, but talked about in a really fun way. “Ring” is a literal reference to the commitment of marriage; “Frequency” is an ode to the concept of “the one,” something that the two obviously subscribe to. It was also a process of having other people identify me as queer, and me being like, “No I can't do that because I'm in a heteronormative situation.” Then I slowly realized that me saying that I was bi could be true, and is true. We named our band after them. Sylvan Esso is composed of producer Nick Sanborn and vocalist Amelia Meath. He's just really supportive. “It's the best thing we've ever made,” Meath says. ... She had posted a video to a song by Sylvan Esso and, when the band shared the video, it immediately caught the Inception actor's eye. Yet, she didn’t want to talk about her sexuality more publicly because she didn’t think “voice was needed,” as she puts it. “I feel like the record makes more sense now than it would have had this not happened,” Sanborn says. Their 2017 sophomore record, What Now, leaned into a harder dance sound and increasingly dystopian lyrics, and earned them a Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album. 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