Sylvan Esso’s new album What Now brings some really interesting, new catchy tunes to the indie pop band’s collection of music.
Their first track, “Sound,” serves as a great intro to the album. Its scratchy, electronic sound catches and holds attention and creates interest. It’s short and simple, but effective.
“The Glow” and “Die Young” were both solid songs. At times they got a bit repetitive, but the catchy melody and quirky ambience made up for it.
“Radio” contains some of my favorite lyrics on the album. It provides commentary on pop culture and the modern media and makes the album as a whole much more meaningful. Similarly, “Kick Jump Twist” seems to have more intellectual meaning within the lyrics than other typical pop songs these days.
The sixth track, ironically titled “Song,” has a charming, light melody, but it maintains the same feel as earlier songs. “Just Dancing,” however, lost my interest a bit. It seemed to echo the same sounds too many times and didn’t hold my attention the way others before it did. It was still likable, but it didn’t hold up the standards set by the first few songs on the album.
The harmonizing vocals and ambience on “Signal” make for a more original sound, and the funky beat contrasts with “Slack Jaw,” which comes directly after. “Slack Jaw” is noticeably more minimalistic and has little ambience. The song only features a few instruments in comparison to pretty much all of the songs before. Sylvan Esso then closes out the album on a calm and collected note with “Rewind.”
Sylvan Esso’s music is special because their unique aesthetic is apparent not only in the sound of their music, but in the words in their songs. They definitely upheld the endearing quirkiness of their older music while still creating something a bit new and different. I personally prefer Sylvan Esso’s first album to What Now, but in the context of the greater realm of indie pop, I’d say it’s pretty great.