We’ve wanted Sylvan Esso to come by for A.V. Undercover pretty much since the band’s first single came out. Not only is the duo’s music fantastic, but multi-instrumentalist Nick Sanborn was actually part of the very first Undercover episode ever—a pilot that featured his old band Headlights performing XTC’s “Making Plans For Nigel.” So while we were making the list for this year, we were in contact with the band, who let us know that they’ve always wanted to cover Gillian Welch’s “Everything Is Free.” Not being ones to stand in the way of inevitability (and being huge fans of Welch’s Time (The Revelator), too) we told them we’d add it to the list, and that they could immediately choose it. Yes, you could call that cheating, but we call it setting up the perfect circumstances for an incredible performance, which is what we got. Nick and Amelia of Sylvan Esso were joined here by their tour mate Jenn Wasner, who you may recognize from Wye Oak and many Undercover appearances. Tune in for a companion episode this Thursday, in which the collaboration is flipped—and a special announcement.
A.V. Undercover 2016: Watch the recap and vote for your favorite
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Trashcan Sinatras cover Wye Oak's "Holy Holy"
Brass Bed covers Van Halen's "Why Can't This Be Love"
Bully covers Sum 41's "Fat Lip"