Its hard to say exactly how much Questlove brought to Sylvan Esso’s performance last night.
During the Durham duo’s turn on NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the drummer sat in—as he has done many times for musical guests since The Roots hit the late night circuit a few years back. During the rendition of “Coffee,” one of a few deceptively catchy singles Sylvan Esso’s self-titled debut, Questlove reinforced the off-kilter rhythms that instigate the tandem’s sly twist on electro-pop and EDM, giving the song a jazzy flourish and allowing Nick Sanborn to flesh out the track’s buzzing texture. Singer Amelia Meath responded in kind, varying the volume of her enveloping coo, rounding out an arrangement that suggested a regular ensemble and not a one-off collaboration.
But any impression of Sylvan Esso’s late night debut comes instantly clouded by Questlove’s celebrity. His presence on a Tonight Show performance is one of modern music’s ultimate endorsements, a Midas touch that makes you really want to like whomever is playing—an effect that’s amplified when he appears alongside two exceptionally sweet and talented folks from your hometown. Check it out below: