Why Sylvan Esso’s Sophomore Album Is A Question Of The Times
Words by Hayley Franklin
The 10-tracker is a surprising sonic trip into an electronic world of crisp beats, intricate synths and catchy melodies. Compared to their mellow weird-pop debut album from 2014, What Now is an injection of red cordial straight into your bubbling bloodstream. Sickly sweet sound effects combine with dark bass lines, make it infectiously catchy.
Sylvan Esso show an expert curation of sounds on single ‘Die Young’ as the bold but minimal production highlights Amelia Meath’s blissful vocals and the irresistibly snappy percussion. A real highlight on the album though is leading single ‘Radio’, which hypnotises the listener with charmingly sarcastic lyrics like “While the world riots on we’re so happy to be listening to our radio.”
Hidden behind the synth-laden sugar rush of energetic pop is a sense of maturity, as political and personal issues blur in a lyrical exploration of success, disappointment, progress and futility. Crafted in the US during a chaotic 2016, What Now is a fearless and addictive blend of anxiety and joy.