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But most of the songs start off with me wandering around and getting very frustrated by trying to figure out a vocal line to sing on its lonesome.” The tradition of duos in pop music is a longstanding one, but Sylvan Esso was never forged with the idea of continuing that custom.
“If there was a third party who was as vocal or as excited, or who as involved in some sort of way, I’m sure we’d be a threesome - but all the ideas were coming from Nick and I,” says Meath.
“I’d always want to write a pop song, but that always seemed like way too much fun to me,” Meath says, chuckling. “Quite honestly, I think that comes from the fact that I don’t play any instruments - so when I do write songs, I write them in the air, or I write them in relation to the beats that Nick is making,” Meath explains.
“Not that writing folk songs wasn’t fun, but writing pop songs felt like ‘I really can’t do that, because that’s just fluff… But then I decided that I could.” The songs on their eponymous debut, released in May, take influence from their previous musical incarnations; Sanborn, who also acts as producer, composes the electronic beats, while Meath’s hypnotic vocal melodies takes the songs into unexpected places, her a capella work with Mountain Man patently colouring the cadences of her voice. “I also just like to write things that can stand alone by themselves.
The more that I tell people that I did that, the more bold it seems to me, now.If we ever write a record that requires more instrumentation, or anything like that, I’m sure we’ll definitely think about [adding a third member] – but at the moment, it’s so simple.It’s soooo easy.” The Sylvan Esso bandwagon continues apace, but fans of their other bands would be forgiven for being concerned, especially those who were particularly enamoured with Mountain Man’s excellent 2010 debut, ‘Made the Harbor’.“I asked him to make a Mountain Man remix, and then he actually did a good job - which is very rare with remixes, particularly people that you don’t know that well,” she explains.“Nick and I were Internet friends, but we weren’t actually really ‘friends’ yet.