Chill pop to sway to.
There is an ease that glides over the synth-pop party of Sylvan Esso’s latest album ‘Free Love’. It is an album that works so cohesively that the listener is almost tricked into thinking its a 30-minute mixtape. Full of bleeps, vocoders, low slung beats and clean simplicity, this is pure joyous pop.
The synths throughout the ten tracks have a tape warmed hue to them. Everything feels rubbery and pliable – even when its a cascade of bleeps and wubs. Paired with Amelia’s voice which rarely fails to captivate in its soft and childlike innocence, it is a winning combination.
Whilst all the tracks are catchy and immediate enough to grace mainstream radio and be a bop, its the more creative and playful tracks that I gravitate towards most. ‘Ring’ is synth-Beyoncé, ‘Ferris Wheel’ plops in crowd cheers and strange pipes as a hook and ‘Runaway’ has a clippity clop flow it that’s infectious. At no point do you get more than three of four keyboards or drums going nuts at once and it creates a sonic cleanness that often I don’t like but here, I really do. It is like the sound has been Marie-Condo’d! I think the real reason I enjoy it here is that Sylvan Esso refuses to let a track stay still. They constantly evolve with tiny tweaks to synths and frequencies so your ears never tire of the noise.
Elsewhere ‘Free’ and ‘What If’ leans into the folksy side of Sylvan Esso. The track ‘Rooftop Dancing’ is the perfect blend of both sides of the house. Nick and Amelia manage to do something that Goldfrapp often didn’t do – bring their two very different styles of music together under one roof. Goldfrapp swayed between two which can make fans yearn for one version or another. Here, it is just effortlessly easy to enjoy it all.
‘Free Love’ is a warming, happy place that has a simple message of love and a sonic message of smiling. Direct, streamlined, danceable and swayable – Syvlan Esso continue to delight.
Recommended track: Ferris Wheel
Support Higher Plain Music
Higher Plain Music is part of the Higher Plain Network – a one-man indie media project. If you like what I do, please consider supporting me via Patreon for as little as $1/£1 a month. In return, you’ll receive additional perks for supporting me, such as behind-the-scenes content and free downloads. You can also donate using PayPal. Sharing the website helps too or using the affiliate buy now links on reviews. I receive a few pence per Amazon sale. All your support will enable me to produce better content, more often. I’d love to make this a full-time media network and your support can make that happen. Thank you.