Sylvan Esso - 'Free Love'

8/10

It is no surprise that more and more artists are beginning to look at the state of the world around them to find inspiration for their music. With political and social upheaval accelerating at a rapid pace, not to mention global pandemics and climate change challenging our very existence, there are more than just a few reasons to feel uneasy about living on planet Earth right now. But for Sylvan Esso, who recorded this album before the pandemic fully took hold, those anxieties have been filtered through a bold and vibrant collection of electro-pop ditties to create one of the more self-aware records of the year so far.

From the very start, 'Free Love' looks to create a gentle balance between the acknowledgment of disasters and troubles around the world, and our innate desire to persevere and focus on enjoying what we have while we have it. This has resulted in a full-length that while glossy and euphoric on the outside, never strays too far from its core message, and showcases one of their strongest collection to date. Filled with a rich and upbeat production that unveils some of the most creative production methods in their career so far, we are seeing Sylvan Esso at their most eclectic, making for a fun and uplifting listen throughout.

'Free Love' may not make it to the half-hour mark in length, but what they do with their time proves exactly why they have remained one of the most captivating and loved electronic duos working today. We are seeing them transform difficult subject matter into something bright and beautiful, a feat that very few can pull off this confidently.

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