Best of 2018: Amelia Meath (Sylvan Esso) Loves Ben Howard’s Heartfelt Noonday Dream

She liked it so much she sang on a song with him soon after.

In place of a more traditional year-end best-of list, Talkhouse has asked some of our favorite artists to choose their favorite album of 2018 and tell us all about it.
—The Talkhouse Team

I’m so excited to tell you about this record. I became aware of Ben Howard because my friend Kyle Keegan started drumming for him: Ben had a couple of records out, and he had one big hit when he was real young. Instead of resting on that hit he’s continued to create and evolve in his songwriting and the ways that he’s expressing himself.

I haven’t heard a record from a cis-white dude that’s sad that I could identify with in a really long time. The main thing that I circle back to about it is that it’s a longform conversation about capitalism and being numbed by modernity and pop culture and media. It’s an incredibly beautiful record. Each song feels like flying through a dark raincloud, but they’re kind of diaphanous. The whole record feels like that. Like you’re on a plane flying through steadily darker and lighter rainclouds. His vocal delivery is very calm but he can build these immense landscapes with the simplest language. The production feels like he’s just saying them very directly into your ears.

I should say that I’m kind of biased because I got to sing on a follow-up single to this record, “Hot Heavy Summer.”

As told to Josh Modell.

Amelia Meath writes songs and sings in Sylvan Esso and Mountain Man. When she is not on tour she is usually playing video games while talking about feelings with all the boys she lives with in Durham, North Carolina. You can follow her on Twitter here.