The resulting live document, recorded at the hometown show at the Durham Performing Arts Center, captures lightning in a bottle. It’s a rare artifact of a special, singular event, and the songwriting partnership that has grown to contain multitudes.
WITH is electrified with the palpable hum of new friendship, of the band’s rare bond that came from a whirlwind week of all-day rehearsals at Sylvan Esso’s studio space out in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Here, Meath and Sanborn assembled a dream team of ten of their favorite musicians to help build out the songs. And through WITH, the audience experiences all periods of the band, reimagined through the lens of a duo now at the height of its powers, bound by the same ethos: inviting the audience to be emotionally vulnerable in a giant group of people. As Sanborn explains: “Everything that we do [as Sylvan Esso], we try to make sure to include people and to give someone the doorway to make it theirs.” On WITH, Sylvan Esso offers the largest entryway yet.