Sylvan Esso’s sophomore album, What Now, is the sound of a band truly fulfilling the potential and promise of their debut. Everything has evolved - the production is bolder, the vocals are more intense, the melodies are more infectious, and the songs shine that much brighter. However, it is also a record that was made in 2016 - which means it is inherently grappling with the chaos of a country seething inward on itself, the voices of two people nestled in studios around the country who were bemused by what they looked out and saw. It’s an album that is both political and personal, and blurs the line between the two – What Now describes the inevitable low that comes after every high, fulfillment tempered by the knowledge that there is no clearly defined conclusion. What Now asks where we go as a culture when standing at what feels like a precipice.
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