Joni Mitchell wasn’t the only one with a surprise at the Newport Folk Fest last week. 

While Joni’s shocking appearance had the crowd roaring, Sylvan Esso also excited fans with the announcement of their next album, No Rules Sandy and a surprise performance of the entire record on the festival’s mainstage

The album is out in less than three weeks on August 12th, but new single “Didn’t Care” is available now. The Durham band, consisting of singers Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, are also debuting the project again in New York City on July 27th and Los Angeles on Aug. 4th.

It’s been an active year for the band: In May, the band played a three-night concert, featuring a wide range of collaborators, at the Historic Durham Bull’s Athletic Park. 

“I think that the ultimate effect of our last record and the pandemic has been the feeling of like, ‘Fuck that, I know what I want,'” Sanborn wrote in a press release. “And it’s now, or never. So let’s get out there and do it.”

Sanborn describes the album as a portrayal of their true selves, full of emotion and energy. No Rules Sandy completes the trilogy of their first three albums, with a cathartic feeling that follows the band’s early 2022 trip from Durham to Los Angeles to set up a makeshift studio. The album features drummer TJ Maiani, string arrangements by Gabriel Kahane, and saxophone by Sam Gendel; additional recording was done at the Betty’s Studio in Chapel Hill.  

The duo’s album announcement was also paired with the announcement of a fall tour with ODESZA, which kicks off today. 

Support independent local journalismJoin the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle. 

Comment on this story at