Acapella and acoustics combined with applied electronic or other-worldly additions can create the most beguiling sounds. Through rounds of recited rhythm-picked lyrics, minimalist know how and the subtle mix of the digitized hand can create the materialized sound of nature and nurture's collision, at least on the auditory front. Exemplaries of this practice and specialized art are Mountain Man's Amelia Randall Meath and Megafaun's Nick Sanborn, who together are the mountain/omega power-duo of Sylvan Esso. Today the two premiere the Charles Spearin of Do Make Say Think remix of their recent Trekky Records A-side, “Hey Mami“, that trades in the indie club electro for the field caught sounds with new environments for Amelia's vocals.
Sweeps of traveling water run between the stereo channels as Amelia's swaying song swings through the lower registries. Charlie Sparin's applied sounds go from the caught audio of tides reaching the sandy shores, along with their rolling subsequent ebb and retreat. As Meaths' vocal refrain sets into the fade with the water in the mix, a new steam engine brings the sound of a late night bonfire, and a beachfront party equipped with background howls of wind, crowd chatter, and nearby bass beeps. This too fades into the distance, as the wind sends the sand and revelers away, and welcomes back Amelia's voice with lonely beach guitar chords that loop like a drunk and sleepy music box. Listen as Charlie allows the most ambient of natural elements guide “Hey Mami” to a new imagined shore, where the sound goes wherever the wind takes the sampled stems and pieces.
Amelia Randall Meath and Nick Sanborn talked with us a bit about the beginnings of Sylvan Esso, their first single, and Charles Spearin's remix, and the new worlds introduced to their A-side.
What are you thoughts on the way Do Make Say Think transformed “Hey Mami” with the bookends of ocean sounds, and found-ish sounds in between?
Charles Spearin has a way of making music that sounds like falling in love. It is always a dream, when you ask someone to make a remix for you, which is a pretty large favor when you think about it, that they will find a part of the song that resonates for them, and create a new world for your song that sprouted from that resonant seed. Charlie did that for us. We feel so lucky and honored that he did. What a world he made!
How do the two of you manage your own creative and generative dialogues?
In all sorts of ways! Sometimes we send each other voice memos, sometimes we go and do our own separate things and then talk about it over fried plantains, and sometimes we camp out in front of the computer and happily argue.
Tell us about recording your recent Hey Mami / Play It Right 12″.
'Play it Right' was originally a remix Nick did for my other band Mountain Man. [Nick and I] liked it so much that we decided we should make some more sounds together over email, and then we moved to the same town. Thus, 'Hey Mami' and then Sylvan Esso was born!
What can you both tell us about what is in store for the future of Sylvan Esso?
We are making an album now, and going on tour this month with Minor Alps! Then back to work on the record and hopefully as much touring as we can. We would love to make it to the West Coast soon, particularly because it is getting chilly here, and we really miss aloe juice and our friend Molly who lives there.
Sylvan Esso's Hey Mami / Play It Right 12″ is available now from Trekky Records.
Catch them this month on tour with Minor Alps via the following dates:
16 Minneapolis, MN – Cedar Cultural Center
17 Chicago, IL – Schubas
19 Washington DC – Black Cat
20 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
22 Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe Live
23 Boston, MA – The Sinclair
December dates with Love Language
06 Raleigh, NC – Kings
07 Raleigh, NC – Kings