Sylvan Esso

Phil Cook's album cover for "People Are My Drug."
Courtesy of Phil Cook

 Phil Cook moved to North Carolina from Wisconsin over a decade ago. Even though he is from the Midwest, Cook says he has always been a student of Southern music. He had romantic ideas about the South from a young age, even with no experience of the region.

A picture of Phil Cook
Josh Wool

Phil Cook likes to be busy. The Durham musician is a founding member of Megafaun and plays in Hiss Golden Messenger. He's also shared the stage with heroes Mavis Staples and John Prine. Now, Cook is releasing his second solo record.  

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery stream, WUNC Music.

On this episode, Eric Hodge chats with Durham's Sylvan Esso about their song "Slack Jaw" from their Grammy-nominated album What Now.

Amelia Meath says the song is about being a human and being sad. She wanted to write about these universal and common feelings without coming off as 'whiny,' and Slack Jaw is the result. 

Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn of Sylvan Esso
Courtesy of Shervin Lainez

After a year on the road, Durham-based duo Sylvan Esso has gathered pals for a concert and campout near home this weekend. They'll join tUnE-yArDs, Wye Oak, Helado Negro and Well$ at Shakori Hills Saturday.

A picture of Jenn Wasner
Courtesy of Paley Fairman

Jenn Wasner is best known as half of the Baltimore-based band Wye Oak. But for the past few years, she's been quietly working away at her own music under the banner Flock of Dimes

Sylvan Esso
the artists

It's been a big year for the band Sylvan Esso, the Durham-based duo of singer Amelia Meath and producer Nick Sanborn.  Earlier this month Paste Magazine named their song "Coffee" its Song of the Year.

Sylvan Esso’s music comes with a certain digital reality. It’s devoid of the oft-shallow feel of some electro-pop songs that are just about parties or typical relationship fodder. This maintains an earthiness that it takes a band from North Carolina to possess.