Ears Wide Open: Sylvie

Sylvie (Photo by Kathryn Vetter Miller)

Sylvie is a trio whose songs come at you like ghosts on the morning marine layer creeping up Laurel Canyon — and a band whose name and inspirations have a backstory.

First, there is the name. A “sylvie” refers to a “a song from the past that’s incredible but for whatever reason, is basically unknown,” the band explains. The trio’s first single was a cover of “Sylvie,” a song that appears on a 1970 album by Matthews Southern Comfort, the band fronted by ex-Fairport Convention member Iain (né Ian) Matthews.

As for the band itself, it’s led by Benjamin Schwab (of Golden Daze and Drugdealer), who is joined by singer-songwriters Marina Allen and Sam Burton. Schwab’s father, John, fronted the L.A. band Mad Anthony in the 1970s, recording an album that never saw the light of day. Benjamin discovered the tapes years later in a closet and was introduced to a sound that resonated deeply with him.

“Falls on Me” is the second single from Sylvie’s self-titled EP, out Oct. 1 via Terrible Records.

“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,” Schwab says, “but this is the one off the EP that is directly about my life and my growth. When I was writing ‘Falls on Me,’ I was sorting through all these emotions that had built up over the past five to 10 years. Through relationships 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 three-quarters 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 really did such an amazing job delivering the sentiment.”

Both Allen (“Candlepower”) and Burton (“I Can Go With You”) recently released notable albums as well — hear them below along with Sylvie’s singles for total immersion in ’60s/’70s finery.

||| Stream: “Falls on Me”

||| Also: Watch the video for “Sylvie”

||| Also: Stream Marina Allen’s album “Candlepower”

||| Also: Stream Sam Burton’s album “I Can Go With You”