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Sylvan Esso’s Nick Sanborn and Amelia Meath have been making music together since 2013, when Amelia asked Nick, a music producer and bassist, to remix her band Mountain Man’s hit single “Play It Right.” He did, and the rest is history. Sylvan Esso has always had a very sleek, electro-pop feel to their production. Amelia’s powerful voice is front and center, surrounded by harmonies and samples of her own voice. Nick’s genre-destroying bass creates intricate, pulsing grooves for Amelia’s voice to inhabit.

Now, the married couple and electronic duo have released their fourth studio album, No Rules Sandy. It’s a follow-up to the band’s Grammy-nominated 2020 album, Free Love. The new album is a mix of improvisation and experimentation. On today’s episode, Bruce Headlam speaks with Amelia and Nick about their creative process and how No Rules Sandy came to be. They also play two songs off their new album live.

You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Sylvan Esso songs HERE.

The Hosts

Rick Rubin

In addition to being a podcast host, Frederick Jay “Rick” Rubin is an American record producer and former co-president of Columbia Records. Along with Russell Simmons, he is the co-founder…

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is co-founder of Pushkin Industries and host of the hit podcast Revisionist History. He is a journalist, a speaker, and the author of several New York Times bestsellers including The Tipping…

Justin Richmond

Justin Richmond is producer and co-host of the music podcast Broken Record with writer Malcolm Gladwell, New York Times editor Bruce Headlam, and music producer—and Def Jam co-founder—Rick Rubin. Justin…

Bruce Headlam

Bruce Headlam is one of the co-creators of the music podcast Broken Record. He worked at The New York Times for 19 years, including two years running the 50-person Video…