Sylvan Esso: What Now review – purposeful pop bangers

(Loma Vista)

Though Sylvan Esso’s eponymous debut was a charming indie-dance diversion from the day job – Amelia Meath in Appalachian a cappella trio Mountain Man, Nick Sanborn in psych-folkers Megafaun and as spectral laptop experimenter Made of Oak – the duo’s excellently named second album seems much more sure of its purpose. On it, they gave themselves, Meath says, “full permission to just make bangers”, and there are three stellar examples: the driven, pulsing Radio, the magnetic alt-R&B groove of Die Young and, best of all, the vivacious, pounding technopop of Just Dancing, with a classic tears-on-the-dancefloor lyric about trying to drown lost love in the first flush of nightclub lust. There are plenty of less banging, but still lovely, treats elsewhere on this sweet-but-sharp set, too.

Watch the video for Radio by Sylvan Esso.


Emily Mackay

The GuardianTramp

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