Liberty to our inner love
The well-fitting duo operating by the name Sylvan Esso released their latest album, Free Love, on September 25th of 2020. This album follows the duo’s classic and simple style of popping digital beats created by electronic producer Nick Sanborn, garnished with member Meath’s peculiar and alluring voice. Free Love discusses the current state of the world in a global pandemic and aims to shed some light and offer advice in the form of a song. The album reminds the listener of times when love was so present and vibrant and how, despite the seemingly dreadful year, one may look within themselves to find that love that still exists so fervently.
While Sylvan Esso’s musical style is simple and can be divided into two main ideas, it is important to recognize how much each song can produce with such a simple concept. Each song, following the album’s theme, sings of love and is reminiscent of vibrant and exhilarating feelings that come with it. Each song captures the depth and strength that love has and reminds the listener of the power it has to make one feel good.
The song “What If” begins the album by tempting one with the possibilities opened up when the end is imagined as the beginning, and the darkness is imagined as the light. This powerful tune shows that what may seem terrible has the possibility of being more, given a chance. The tracks, “Ring,” “Ferris Wheel,” “Train,” “Frequency” and “Rooftop Dancing” all recount vivid stories of love and provoke pleasant feelings and emotions with their tune and lyrics, aided by Meath’s soft yet intense vocal modulations. Short spouts of these vocals layered with bright note synths complement each other and create a lovely harmony that leaves the listener in a cheerful and contented state. Songs “Numb,” “Free,” “Runaway” and “Make It Easy” serve as tunes of advice with lyrics encouraging the listener to find light in every dark situation. “Numb” sings of shaking out the numb and letting go, “Runaway,” advising one to leave behind what is upsetting them and finally, “Make it Easy” and “Free” discuss the idea that constructing simplicity in one’s life is incredibly freeing.
Through Free Love, Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso use the intimacy between them to generate a collection of gentle anthems that are incredibly meaningful and are meant to be learned from more than simply enjoyed. The duo has created an immensely successful album that is about reminding oneself that love exists to make people feel good and whole, no matter what external circumstances may present.