Less than a year after releasing an album inspired by the concept of love, Sylvan Esso are channeling their passion for community and kinship by starting up their own record label, Psychic Hotline.

The electro-pop duo of Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn founded their artist-run recording company alongside their longtime manager Martin Anderson. Coming in partnership with Secretly Distribution, the Psychic Hotline is based in Sylvan Esso’s Durham hometown, where they also recently opened their recoding studio, Betty’s. That spot will serve as the central creative hub for the duo’s new endeavor.

As Meath stated in a press release, Psychic Hotline is meant to be “the type of record company we had dreamed of,” with the the aim to keep the in-studio processes as harmonious as possible. She continued,

“An artist-led enterprise that strives to do right in radical ways by the creators who entrust us with their work; in the deals we make, the way we do business and the way we center the art and the artist. We do not seek to own intellectual property under any circumstance, nor do we subscribe to scarcity-based career approaches. We strive to ever-expand our musical community; to welcome more voices and more perspectives. We believe that the only common denominator in great music is honesty in expression.”


To demonstrate that ethos, they’re sharing the label’s inaugural release, a new track called “Neon Blue” from Meath and in-demand songwriter Blake Mills. Described by Mills as “a nighttime song,” the track also features a B-side instrumental reinterpretation from Sam Gendel. Stream both cuts ahead.

“Neon Blue” serves as the first entry in the Psychic Hotline Singles Series. Other artists and collaborators contributing to the series include Anjimile, Bartees Strange with Dr. Dog drummer Erick Slick and Ohmme, Flock of Dimes, Sanborn’s Made of Oak project, Meath’s Mountain Man trio, The Tallest Man on Earth, and more.

What’s more, Psychic Hotline will be home to a number of reissues, beginning with Sylvan Esso’s 2014 self-titled debut. Out October 8th, the LP will be made available on vinyl for the first time, and you can pre-order it now. After that, Psychic Hotline will release a deluxe Mountain Man release, though details on what that will be are still forthcoming.


In celebration of the new label and all its releases, Sylvan Esso will host the Psychic Hotline Block Party at Chapel Hill’s Cat’s Cradle on August 14th. Guests include Mountain Man, Helado Negro, Gendel, Young Bull, and more label artists and surprise performers. Tickets may already be sold out, but you can always check the secondary market. That’s where you can also find tickets to Sylvan Esso’s upcoming fall tour, which are also still available via Ticketmaster.

All of this comes after Sylvan Esso release their most recent full-length album Free Love, last September. They also dropped their surprise With Love EP back in December.