Esben and the Witch – “Sylvan” (audio) (premiere)

Hear the first new music from the post-rock trio Esben and the Witch in three years.

Post-rock trio Esben and the Witch will release the album Older Terrors November 4 via Season of Mist. The band has just issued the track “Sylvan” to celebrate the record’s impending arrival. With passages that range from spare and haunting to loud and frightening, the 13-minute tune serves as a perfect taste of the whole album. Vocalist Rachel Davies sings with an uncommon ease and grace, further establishing herself as one of the most remarkable voices in any genre. Drummer Daniel Copeman plays with both taste and passion, while guitarist Thomas Fischer creates intricate but subtle layers that strike the perfect balance between darkness and light.

“The song is about a fire raging through an ancient forest, about primal forces, wild and uncontrollable loosed upon the land and how we might try to find meaning and even beauty in a burning world,” offers Fischer.

Formerly signed with the Matador imprint, Esben and the Witch enters into a new covenant with Season of Mist at a time when the band’s profile is on the rise. That ascent is likely to continue with the release of Older Terrors, an album written over one year in the trio’s adopted home of Berlin.

“We spent last winter fleshing these songs out in our rehearsal space up in an old tower block and in April we finally recorded them at a studio in the center of the city,” says Fischer. That setting would prove perfect for the vibe the band wanted to exude on the finished LP. “In this digital age we wanted to create an album that contained four tracks that would work as a whole but that could also be separated and stand alone. Each one carving its own path. This record is dedicated to the sublime. To Edward Young’s ‘Night Thoughts’, John Martin’s apocalyptic visons, Caspar David Friedrich’s forays into the forest and to the sparks of light that glimmer in times of utter darkness.”

Here, then, is to a well-lighted place in the future for this remarkable band.

You can pre-order Older Terrors on CD or limited edition vinyl, out November 4.


1. Sylvan

2. Marking the Heart of a Serpent

3. The Wolf’s Sun

4. The Reverist