Sylvan Esso is a synth-pop duo based in Durham, North Carolina that’s made up of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn. Meath was a vocalist in the female folk trio Mountain Man and Sanborn was playing bass with the band Megafaun when Sylvan Esso accidentally formed. Together, the two’s sound creates warm layers of bouncing beats, magnetizing vocals and catchy hooks that are just as energizing as they are relaxing (like a good cup of coffee).
Until recently, Sylvan Esso only had two songs available from their debut EP, “Hey Mami/ Play It Right,” making a live performance the best way to hear more of their music. Having seen them twice in the last six months, I’ve been eagerly awaiting their first LP, “Coffee” which will be released in May. The title track—Coffee—was released a few months ago on Sound Cloud and today they released a video to correspond with the EP’s release.
The sounds of Sylvan Esso provide a great soundtrack for all your coffee brewing and coffee sipping needs or turn up the volume and find some bass that’ll get your whole body moving to the beat. Check out the new video for “Coffee” below and their upcoming tour dates in Europe and the US.
Introducing Coffee Crazy, the brand new EP from Helsinki-based musician Fanu. The new 5-track album is inspired by the musician’s love of coffee and the creative fuel it provides to so many artists of every talent. DCILY is excited to be the first to share this album with Fanu listeners, new and old. So grab a fresh cup and dive into the beats.
Perky Percolator Jam – kicks off the jam with playful vibes, rolling breaks, and a double bass line, making you feel as perky as if you had just gulped down good sips of that percolator brew.
Above Waters – describes the ethereal vibe you have while on a coffee high, making you feel like you’re floating above the sea.
Bad Coffee – got its name from a bad coffee experience Fanu had at St. Petersburgtrain station. Fanu had to put the horror into some kind of form to get it out of his system, and this is the result.
Espresso Deluxe – a sweet combination of rich yet smooth elements that lets you savor the subtlety and intricacy you might find in a classy cup of good-quality coffee.
Mocca Overdose – another case of putting bad experiences into musical form. Fanu downed two percolators worth of mocca + a few cups of filter coffee in a few hours (true story!), and the result was very heavy and brooding that seemed to last a little too long – just like this track. Enjoy with caution!
Fanu is originally from the north of Finland where much of the year it’s dark, cold and the people drink more coffee than anywhere else in the world. Now based in Helsinki, Fanu has continued his musical explorations stemming from his love for breakbeat and electronic music that began as a teenager, while being inspired by The Future Sound of London, DJ Shadow, Source Direct, Photek and Amon Tobin.
This album integrates coarse ground layers beneath the smooth flowing beats of a double bass that capture the joy in a great cup of coffee as well as the dark brooding moods that make you need one. I truly hope the EP finds further definition in a full length.
Download the full Coffee Crazy EP on NoiseTrade. If you enjoy it, be sure to tip!
What better way to start the new year than with a swingin anthem to our favorite beverage—black coffee. The Careless Lovers are a jazz band based in Seattle who can be found performing on the streets around Capital Hill when they aren’t moving peoples feet in neighborhood dance halls—or coffee shops.
The film, directed and produced by Seattle-based Joon Chang, does a wonderful job capturing the feel of the swing era in modern times. Filmed on site at the Arabica Lounge, look out for Stumptown love, fantastic facial hair and an unexpected ending.
After Storyville’s essential hardware is in place, then comes the Storyville software—two bags of coffee packed as delicately as a cashmere sweater. The same design detail found in the hardware packaging is present throughout the coffee as well.
The clear plastic, resealable bags are printed in metallic ink with a knockout of their logo, allowing a preview of the product inside. The typography is nicely considered and the roast date is printed right on the front of the bag—just as large as Storyville’s name—making it easy to find and stressing its importance.
Nestled underneath the coffee was a nicely wrapped DVD with the videos from the website teaching you how to brew the perfect press pot as well as the short film about “Big Coffee” and the burnt bean cover-up.
The coffee itself wasn’t as exciting for me as everything else. Not that it was bad, I know a number of people who this would make a great gift for, but I’m not usually in the market for a comforting, earthy morning blend.
The aroma is nice, full of chocolate and spice. There’s also a bit of cinnamon, a hint of clove and honey sweetened nuts that make their way out of the cup. The coffee is full bodied with a bit of a dry mouthfeel. Spiced walnuts are the most prominent flavor, while some lemon zest add a bit of brightness to the cup. As it cools, the coffee smoothes out and ends with a red wine finish.
The last thing I want to share about Storyville, which could be another post in itself, is their Storyville Live initiative. Chad Turnbull, Co-President of Storyville, calls themselves a “for profit, for good” company. What this means is that their success is not determined by profit alone, but also by how they can contribute back to society. I am a big proponent of this type of business. When I’m not writing about coffee or doing design work for clients, I’m actually a bit of a social entrepreneur myself.
Storyville Live is an intimate concert in the home of a generous host, completely organized by the company with the help of a guest list. During an event, fresh coffee is served up to fuel the live music and conversation that ensue, which allows Storyville to personally introduce new customers to their product. This intimate setting also gives them an opportunity to share their passion for another cause—to see an end to human trafficking and slavery. While this seems like a heavy topic, what better place to discuss an important global issue than over coffee with friends? What’s better, is all of the proceeds made from coffee and hardware sales go directly to the International Justice Mission, who are fighting to end such oppression.
There are many coffee companies who use their sales to promote the well being of people in coffee growing regions (which is fantastic, we should all be doing that), but I find Storyville’s unique approach to raise money for an unrelated issue, a very sincere effort to improve the world we live in. Storyville’s heart is clearly visible in everything they do. From the studio they roast their coffee in, to the way it’s presented when you receive it in your home, it’s obvious that Storyville cares deeply about what they do, which is not only great business, but a great way to live.