Sylvan Esso’s upcoming third album is called Free Love mainly because of “Free,” a deeply beautiful new ballad they’ve released today ahead of the project’s release this Friday. Even more so than recent single “Frequency,” the electronics that usually undergird Amelia Meath’s songwriting are stripped back here. The arrangement is little more than some trembling, translucent chords and Meath’s delicate vocals, creating the sensation of an otherworldly lullaby. It’s even prettier when paired with D.L. Anderson’s video, which pans out from a fascinatingly lit closeup of Meath’s face to reveal her seated in the woods, surrounded by neon lights. Sometimes less is more!
Meath shared this statement with the video:
“Free” was written all in one go — one of those magical moments of songwriting that happens once every hundred songs. Nick knew it was the center piece of the record the minute I showed it to him. “We should call the record Free Love.” It’s the center of the record — a song about being obscured by someone’s loving impression. A mirror on a mirror.