Sylvan Esso have unveiled “Rooftop Dancing,” the second single from their forthcoming album Free Love (September 25/Loma Vista Recordings). “Rooftop Dancing” captures the duo of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn in a minimalist moment of intimacy.
“Rooftop Dancing is about the excitement of being part of a collective humming whole – a city that contains multitudes – with your small story shining softly amidst it. Cheryl Dunn was a natural first choice to make the video since she has been so brilliantly capturing the spirit of NYC for years. We are so grateful to her for collaborating with us and giving us a beautiful slice of what the city feels like today,” Sylvan Esso says.
The video was filmed and directed by celebrated NYC street photographer and filmmaker Cheryl Dunn. This kinetic, loving portrait of NYC in the summer of 2020 depicts an awakening – New Yorkers seeking open air to move, dance and breathe, even for a fleeting few moments.
“To me this song reflects the social climate of NY right now, with its historical resilience to re-invent – to create new things from the discarded, to take back the streets, to not dwell on what you can’t do but to get excited about what you can do… like riding bikes en masse, making guerrilla art shows by the river, making more art and music – and yes – dancing on the roof tops!” Cheryl Dunn adds.
Sylvan Esso announced Free Love with “Ferris Wheel,” stirring excitement and praise from Pitchfork and the Fader to Stereogum and Cool Hunting, along with Best Songs of the week nods from Variety, NPR, Paste, E! and others. Nick and Amelia spoke at length with Bob Boilen on NPR’s All Songs Considered on the making of the song and video – and how “Ferris Wheel” is the “sassy summertime amusement park song” she’s always wanted to write.
“Rooftop Dancing” and “Ferris Wheel” represent the two sides of the new album: some of their hardest driving and most dance-y songs yet, balanced with their most meditative. Free Love is a 10-song collection that thrives on collaborative frisson. While their celebrated first two albums were born from a delineation in creative roles – Amelia the lyrics and melodies, Nick the chords and beats – Free Love is Sylvan Esso’s first true “band” record: two voices fused together. It was written, recorded and produced at Sylvan Esso’s own studio, built in the woods in North Carolina.
Sylvan Esso has produced some of indie pop’s most enduring songs in recent years and just achieved a career milestone by crossing a half billion streams worldwide. Their last album, 2017’s What Now, debuted in the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 and earned the group their first-ever Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronic album.