American electronic pop duo from Durham, North Carolina, formed in 2013, Sylvan Esso new album “No Rules Sandy” leaked online.
“No Rules Sandy” is vertiginous. “How can I feel everything moving?” “Moving” features hissing, scurrying beats, octave-hopping blips, and stereo whooshes. Album celebrates freedom.
Meath and her husband, Nick Sanborn, make complex, light electro-pop. Duo changes genres and patterns with EDM hardware and software. Sylvan Esso doesn’t reuse tech.
“No Rules Sandy” is 2020’s “Free Love” sequel. “Free Love” had songs to “shake out the numb.”
Enjoy Sylvan Esso’s new songs. “Sun burn” uses a bike bell. “Didn’t Care” features Afro-pop guitars, Balkan harmonies, and bubbly synths.
Infected Sylan Esso. In March 2021, it replaced “Free Loveelectronic” with “We Love.” They resumed touring in September. Sylvan Esso experimented on “No Rules Sandy.”
Anyone can change the new album. Song refrain: “Surreal but free.”
Electronic pop and dance music have clear beats, verse and chorus breaks, and measured four-bar builds. Not Sylvan Esso. “No Rules Sandy” has broken beats and fading vocals.
“Echo Party” has disco-sounding hats and piano chords. It’s not club music. Meath says “by, by, by” after the beat stops.
Variations “Look at Me” is about attention (“All I want is to be seen”) and has ping, tap, boop, and click offbeats. Meath sings about fear and acceptance in “Cloud Walker”
“No Rules Sandy” sounds hopeful, not naive. Meath sings “Alarm” to everyone. Sylvan Esso’s music reflects the uncertain 2020s, despite their studio fun. Whizzing, blinking, and changing sounds reduce stress.
Song ends. “Coming Back to You” is a unique folk ballad. “I’m the root and leaf/The big tree you grew up under,” Meath sings. Song quiets after action.