Sylvan Esso’s intimate new song “Free” begins with a jarring conversational “I love you” before Amelia Meath begins to sing. “People always ask me / what it’s like to love everybody / what it’s like to love everybody, they ask me / I tell them don’t be crazy, there’s too many people around me / If I loved them all they’d break me, you see.” Today the duo of Amelia and Nick Sanborn shared the video for “Free,” the final preview of their new album Free Love, out Friday on Loma Vista Recordings.
The video for “Free” captures the intimacy of the song, lights pulsing to the beat of soft, warped chords as the camera slowly zooms out from Amelia’s face. “Free was written all in one go,” says Amelia. “One of those magical moments of songwriting that happens once every hundred songs. Nick knew it was the centerpiece of the record the minute I showed it to him. ‘We should call the record Free Love.’ It’s the center of the record – a song about being obscured by someone’s loving impression. A mirror on a mirror.”
On Thursday Sylvan Esso will host a countdown to the album’s midnight release with Opening Night, a first-of-its-kind multimedia event that dives deep into Nick and Amelia’s creative world and artistic community. Part gallery opening, part late-night telethon, part record release party, Opening Night will include the world premiere of new song “Numb” with a choreographed dance by Emma Portner, who has worked with Justin Bieber, Blood Orange and Maggie Rogers. Sylvan Esso will perform exclusive live versions of Free Love songs “Rooftop Dancing,” “Free,” and “Ferris Wheel.” There will be DJ sets by Nick and Merrill Garbus of Tune-Yards, artwork by Nathaniel Russell, a discussion with legendary NYC street photographer Cheryl Dunn (who directed their “Rooftop Dancing” video) and more.
Opening Night further illustrates how Sylvan Esso has met this challenging moment with creative ingenuity. Earlier this month they released the video for “Frequency,” which was directed by their friend and collaborator Moses Sumney. Sylvan Esso also released a new version of the “Ferris Wheel” video created entirely in Animal Crossing, prompting the Verge to proclaim “Game of the summer, meet song of the summer.” They also recently performed “Ferris Wheel” from a flatbed truck for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. Free Love has also been tipped as one of the Most Anticipated Fall Album by Pitchfork, AV Club, Consequence of Sound, Paste and others.