Bandbox Unboxed Vol. 29 – Sylvan Esso

Prepare your turntable for heavy rotation spinners vinyl fans, ’cause Bandbox record club is out to bring the record store to your own front door.

Groove is in the Bandbox

That’s right music fans, Team Bandbox is offering a truly tailor made vinyl club experience every month by letting you fill your box with artists and albums that fit your own personal tastes. As their slogan goes, it’s pretty much like having the record store delivered to your front door every month. And Bandbox is currently boasting a record store style variety of artists with a treasure trove of exclusive pressings you really do not want to sleep on.

Having it your way really is the Bandbox mantra. Offering subscribers the choice of a single album from an artist you adore, and a fresh edition of Bandbox’s artist-specific fan zine showing up every single month, the B-Box service has effectively made it possible to do a little bin-diving from the comfort your very own home. And you can now dig their vinyl+zine treasures for a beyond reasonable $29 a month. 

Did I mention Bandbox even offers FREE SHIPPING for members? They do. And it’s the icing on the record club cake. So what’s my latest Bandbox? An indie-pop masterpiece from the one and only Sylvan Esso.

Before we continue, you should know up front Bandbox’s format is designed to ease the nerves of folks wary of the record club scene. And yes, you can still choose to be surprised every month if surprises happen to be your bag. If you’re not feeling any of the album’s Bandbox is offering, you can also pump the brakes at any time by simply pausing your sub. It’s unlikely you’ll want to pause anything once you’ve signed up and experienced BandBox for yourself. Just know that your Bandbox experience will be every bit as amazing as you make it.

Let the Great World Spin

Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s get down to business. And when it comes to realm of indie pop, Sylvan Esso is all business. Rest assured, the B-box team not only selected a most worthy SE album to feature, but pressed it on a sexy limited edition colorway, and boxed it up with killer zine that re-defines the term “deep dive.” Check ’em out.

Sylvan Esso – Sylvan Esso (2014)

If you’re at all familiar with the indie rock/indie pop scene, the names Ameila Maeth and Nick Sanborn will likely be familiar to you. That’s partly because both had already found some level of success on the circuit via their bands Mountain Man (Maeth) and Megafun (Sanborn). You, of course, might also know that neither artist is still working with those respective outfits … and that’s largely because of the success of the collaboration that led them to start Sylvan Esso.

That collaboration began in earnest circa 2012, when the Maeth tasked electronic producer/musician Sanborn with crafting some original music for a song she’d written. The team-up proved more than fruitful, producing “Play It Right,” which would go on to become both the b-side to the band’s first single, and the ninth track on their debut album, 2014’s Sylvan Esso.

Not long after finishing “Play It Right,” Maeth moved into Sanborn’s house in the music-friendly Durham, North Carolina area, with work on 2014’s Sylvan Esso beginning almost immediately. As the pair feverishly worked through tracks for their debut album, their musical collaboration also fueled a far deeper connection, with the duo tying the proverbial knot a couple years later.

As for the style and sound Maeth and Sanborn developed on Sylvan Esso, the term “singular” doesn’t quite cut it. Even in spite of its obvious influences, coupled with Sanborn’s insanely catchy and wildly unconventional production, Maeth’s incisive lyrics and bold vocal style ensured Sylvan Esso didn’t sound like anything that was being released at the time. It still doesn’t. And the truth is, few indie pop album’s released since have felt quite as refreshingly original or emotionally vital – let alone one so unabashedly enjoyable.

Obviously, if you’re a fan of the band, you you already know all this. But you’ve yet to board the Sylvan Esso train, hit Bandbox up today and start your journey with this stunning reissue of their lavish debut. Seriously, just look at this beauty.

Now that we’ve had al look at that wax, let’s dig into the accompanying zine, ’cause it’s chock full of pics and interviews set to dazzle Sylvan Esso fans of every flavor. It’s even got a full, track by track breakdown of Sylvan Esso from the band themselves.

And just FYI – if you thought that disc looked great just out of the sleeve, wait til you see it on your deck.

It’s the Bandbox You Want and the Bandbox You Need

The vinyl boom is here to stay, friends. And if you’re one of the many who’ve found themselves fervently swept up in the madness, you’re already aware there’s a million and one ways to get your hands on some sweet, sweet wax. While I’d always encourage you to shop first at your local record store, subscription vinyl clubs really are an excellent way to help fill in/round out your growing collection.

The great thing about Bandbox is that they ultimately leave the decision-making up to you. So if you’re looking to snag a copy of your fave band’s most popular album on snazzy colored wax, you can do that. Ditto for some of those overlooked albums chock full of tasty deep cuts. And rest assured, they’ve still got a few copies of Sylvan Esso on deck if you’re dying to get your hands on one. Happy spinning, gang!

A thousand THANK Yous to the folks at Bandbox for sponsoring this subscription. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can head over to the Bandbox website and sign up to have a sexy new Bandbox delivered to your own front door every single month. While you’re there, feel free to check out their podcast and merch section too! And be sure to check back soon to see what goodies we find in our next Bandbox!

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