So, it has been a while. While traveling, access to new music was scarce due to lack of digital connection and time in one location long enough to catch up on everything new to the point of real absorption. Now that we have been back for over a month, I am in the regular routine of NPR First Listens, Tuesday new-releases, and huge chunks of time devoted to devouring what I have missed.
That brings us to Sylvan Esso. This has been on disproportionate rotation within our household since their pre-release streaming on NPR. Within nano seconds, I was drawn to the track Dress, and disagreed with the claim that Coffee was the best song on the album. After 300 listens, I stand corrected. This may in fact, be the best song of the year. Its a real creeper, and before you know it, the beat of your heart has changed to the rhythm of the track.
There’s not much to it. The perfect combination of a clumsy electronic piano, a shaker, some synthesized bass and one of the softest voices you have ever let into your ear holes. I first heard of Amelia Meath’s previous project, Mountain Man, when they did a black cab session with Feist for her last album. I would never have paired her with anything electronic, but after one listen, I feel silly for ever second guessing.
The best moment, is right when you think the song is over (3:03), Meath begins to tell you, in a voice akin to a scented drying sheet floating gently to ground, that her baby does the hanky-panky. Everything is right with the world…at least for 4 minutes and 30 seconds it is.