Sylvie Share “Falls on me” feat. Marina Allen
Debut EP Out Via Terrible Records on October 1st
Last month Sylvie announced their self-titled debut EP on Terrible Records, and shared its eponymous title track. Arriving alongside a feature on Aquarium Drunkard, the song is a cover of a song from an obscure 1970s record by Ian Matthews called Later That Same Year, and a track that serves as a partial inspiration for the band’s existence. Before they adopted it as a name, the band (which is led by some time Drugdealer & Golden Daze member Benjamin Schwab and features Marina Allen and Sam Burton) started using the term “a Sylvie” to refer to “a song from the past that’s incredible but for whatever reason, is basically unknown,” and the group’s sound is a sort of homage to lost gems like Matthew’s songs, and the recordings of Mad Anthony, the Southern California group that Benjamin’s father John Schwab played in during the ’70s.
Now, the band are sharing a new single from the EP and their first original composition, a track entitled “Falls on me” that features lead vocals from Allen, whose well-regarded solo debut Candlepower, came out on Fire Records earlier this year.
Sylvie captures this distinguished feeling of warmth throughout their new ensemble. That warmth resonates through the comforting atmosphere and the raw vocal notes. The sweeping guitar strings add such character to the compelling ensemble and start to form and manipulate the ambiance. The melody consumes the exploration with the dreamy yet prominent vocal notes, bursting with energy and such force. Once again, Sylvie delivers this enchanting arrangement, there really is something special and harrowing with this contemplative journey that Sylvie has crafted. Intricate layers, a country-infused intimate arrangement with a personal lyrical touch. When the vocal harmonies reach such high notes the audience embraces the power and beauty on offer.
A gorgeously rendered song that feels as though it could have been airlifted directly out of Laurel Canyon, the track is anchored by a powerful and strikingly nuanced performance from Allen, but was written by Schwab who identifies it as the most personal song on Sylvie’s debut.
“A lot of the songs on the EP feel like they’re about other people’s lives, my experience with them, or a time and place in the past, but this is the one off the EP that is directly about my life and my growth,” Schwab explains. “When I was writing ‘Falls on me’, I was sorting through all these emotions that had built up over the past 5-10 years. Through rel-tionships ending, bridges burning, or whatever it was, I found myself at a place where I felt very distant from the source. Repeating similar patterns, being heartbroken over someone over and over again or whatever it was. I found myself really lost to the point where there was really no other place to go but home. The first half of the song explores this feeling, and then 3/4 of the way through the character meets a friend who reminds them of themselves. There is this person who reminds them just enough of who they are so that they can see themselves again or what it would be like to return home, back to the source, to yourself. This song to me is about deliverance and a returning home that took me many years to arrive at. Itʼs sung by Marina Allen, who realy did such an amazing job delivering the sentiment.”
In 1975, John Schwab and his band Mad Anthony sat in a barn in Southern California and recorded their songs. It was a narrative that w/s common during this period – the band was close to a record deal but it never came, and the tapes were stored in a box in a closet. Decades later, in a small town in Ohio, his son Ben Schwab came across them. The recordings would imprint a sound and feeling that he would end up chasing. They were timeless, effortless, and soulful. A harmonic birthright.
Ben had a long career as a professional inline skater that sent waves through the subculture, before watching the industry fade away. Following a period at CalArts, he formed his first band, Golden Daze, and later joined the group Drugdealer. Sylvie is the full return to the musical lineage and spirit that lived in all those lost yet beloved cassettes and reels. True to Mad Anthonyʼs form, Ben and his friends also sat around in a garage in LA to make these recordings. Of course his fatherʼs voice is featured prominently, he sings one of the songs. Not much has changed.
1. Falls on me
4. Shooting Star