What Now (Sylvan Esso album)

What Now is the second studio album by American indie pop duo Sylvan Esso, made up of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn, released on April 28, 2017, by Loma Vista Recordings.[3] The album spawned three singles—"Radio", released on August 31, 2016; "Kick Jump Twist", released on November 18, 2016; and "Die Young", released on February 27, 2017.

What Now
Sylvanessowhatnow.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 28, 2017
Recorded2017
Genre
Length36:03
LabelLoma Vista Recordings
ProducerNick Sanborn
Sylvan Esso chronology
Sylvan Esso
(2014)
What Now
(2017)
Singles from What Now
  1. "Radio"
    Released: 31 August 2016
  2. "Kick Jump Twist"
    Released: 18 November 2016
  3. "Die Young"
    Released: 27 February 2017

Background and productionEdit

Speaking on the album, Meath said in an interview that, following their debut album, the duo felt they needed to "step it up as much as possible to prove that [they] belong [where they are]." Sanborn added that the record felt "much more lived-in and alive" than their previous album due to the fact that they were more assured with what they wanted, whereas their first album came right after their formation as a band. Meath explained that the album's title came from a "deep band existential crisis", and that during the first part of recording the album, they often asked themselves, "Can we still do this or did we lose it?"[4]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.4/10[5]
Metacritic75/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [7]
The A.V. ClubA[8]
Consequence of SoundB[9]
The Guardian     [10]
Mojo     [11]
The Observer     [12]
Pitchfork7.2/10[13]
Q     [14]
Slant Magazine     [15]
Uncut8/10[16]

What Now received mostly positive reviews from critics. The album received a 75 out of 100 on Metacritic from 20 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6] Pitchfork writer Stacey Anderson, in a positive review for the album, wrote that, "The sophomore album from the electronic pop duo offers a biting, withering take on pop music, full of crisp humor while still finding real moments of tenderness."[13] Josh Modell of The A.V. Club called the album "brilliant", opining that the album was "deeper, smarter, more comfortable, more intimate, and more cohesive" than their previous record, and calling it "a record so good it answers its own title question and makes you eager to ask it again."[8] Emily Mackay of The Observer reacted positively to the album, calling it "lovely" and "sweet-but-sharp".[12] Writing for Spin, critic Geena Kloeppel wrote that "What Now finds the band questioning the confines of electronic pop music, deconstructing traditional notions of beat and melody with intricacy and ingenuity."[2]

Track listingEdit

No.TitleLength
1."Sound"2:32
2."The Glow"2:58
3."Die Young"3:30
4."Radio"3:32
5."Kick Jump Twist"4:23
6."Song"3:27
7."Just Dancing"4:28
8."Signal"3:29
9."Slack Jaw"3:05
10."Rewind"4:39

Track listing adapted from iTunes.[17]

ChartsEdit

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[18] 92
US Billboard 200[19] 32
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[20] 4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Arcand, Rob (28 April 2017). "Stream Sylvan Esso's New Album What Now". Spin. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Kloeppel, Geena (May 1, 2017). "Review: Sylvan Esso's Sweet What Now Pushes Against the Confines of Electronic Pop Music". SPIN. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  3. ^ Flynn, Katherine (April 14, 2017). "Sylvan Esso – What Now". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved May 31, 2017.
  4. ^ Aswad, Jem. "Sylvan Esso's Great New Album Resulted From a 'Band Existential Crisis'". Billboard. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  5. ^ "What Now by Sylvan Esso reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  6. ^ a b "Reviews and Tracks for What Now by Sylvan Esso". Metacritic. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  7. ^ Bemrose, Bekki. "What Now – Sylvan Esso". AllMusic. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Modell, Josh (April 28, 2017). "Sylvan Esso subverts and embraces the pop world on a brilliant second album". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Flynn, Katherine (April 14, 2017). "Sylvan Esso – What Now". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  10. ^ Davies, Hannah J. (April 27, 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now review – peppy, irreverent bleep-pop for coffee lovers". The Guardian. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  11. ^ Aston, Martin (June 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now". Mojo. No. 283. p. 94.
  12. ^ a b Mackay, Emily (April 30, 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now review – purposeful pop bangers". The Observer. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  13. ^ a b Anderson, Stacey (April 26, 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 2, 2017.
  14. ^ Solomon, Kate (June 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now". Q. No. 372. p. 112.
  15. ^ Goller, Josh (April 12, 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now". Slant Magazine. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  16. ^ Sturges, Fiona (June 2017). "Sylvan Esso: What Now". Uncut. No. 241. p. 38.
  17. ^ "What Now by Sylvan Esso on Apple Music". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  18. ^ "Sylvan Esso Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  19. ^ "Sylvan Esso Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2017.
  20. ^ "Sylvan Esso Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 1, 2017.