Sharon Van Etten

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Couldn't find a thread on her. First album was really good, and she just put out a second that's a grower. Thoughts?

AlexPh, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 17:20 (eleven years ago) link

I think the new one is a big improvement upon the first, which was pleasant but a little samey. "One Day" is the standout track for me. I've been aching for a studio version ever since hearing her play it on earlier this year. But it's kinda funny, i like the sound of it more coming out of tinny laptop speakers than out of my regular speakers or headphones. It's got this great familiar am radio vibe.

Z S, Tuesday, 12 October 2010 17:27 (eleven years ago) link

i like the new one a bunch. it seems a super lazy comparison for an acoustic guitar player but the first half of the lp is kinda early-dylan, to me. she does the steel pedal thing without seeming too retro or affected-country, too.

inimitable bowel syndrome (schlump), Tuesday, 12 October 2010 17:34 (eleven years ago) link

three weeks pass...

Sharon covering "Last Night I Dreamt Somebody Loved Me"

Pinktits, Monday, 8 November 2010 18:36 (eleven years ago) link


she's a marvellous wonder, although i'm a sop who prefers acoustic-y melancholy to midtempo electric

sean gramophone, Monday, 8 November 2010 18:47 (eleven years ago) link

three months pass...

Finally giving her an ear -- yeah, this is good stuff.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 February 2011 06:23 (eleven years ago) link

I love "Epic", which I discovered last autumn on a joyous record store crawl around Williamsburg.

Daniel Giraffe, Monday, 14 February 2011 13:37 (eleven years ago) link

she has a good angriness

schlump, Monday, 14 February 2011 18:06 (eleven years ago) link

yeah, i fell pretty hard for 'epic' - among other things, it is catchy as hell, i had a different song from it buzzing around my head every day for a good while

brigitte beardo (donna rouge), Monday, 14 February 2011 18:14 (eleven years ago) link

I pretty much found because I was in love to be exhausting and unpleasant, possibly because I was introduced to her by hearing her on that Antlers record that was also exhausting and unpleasant, but 'epic' is just so well put-together and her show opening for Junip in which she played it in its entirety was one of the best things I saw last year. really looking forward to the next one, which I guess is being worked on with guy from the National now

rope (lloydwabbitt), Wednesday, 16 February 2011 21:56 (eleven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Interviewing her in an hour and a half. Anybody have a burning question or two for her?

Ned Raggett, Monday, 7 March 2011 18:37 (eleven years ago) link

two weeks pass...

My feature/interview is up. Cool person!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 March 2011 23:29 (eleven years ago) link

Trying this again, apparently they had to adjust the URL for whatever reason:

Ned Raggett, Friday, 25 March 2011 00:45 (eleven years ago) link

nine months pass...

good lord, this new one is awesome

SELF DEPORTATION (Z S), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 03:47 (ten years ago) link

You have the full thing? I hate you.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 24 January 2012 03:52 (ten years ago) link

i....i'm sorry

"give out" is esp great, early on

SELF DEPORTATION (Z S), Tuesday, 24 January 2012 03:53 (ten years ago) link

Really enjoying this so far.

Daniel Giraffe, Monday, 30 January 2012 19:15 (ten years ago) link

This is real good.

kornrulez6969, Monday, 6 February 2012 21:51 (ten years ago) link

i was really disappointed the first time i played this, really disappointed, bc i think the last two are so good & that serpents was amazing in a whole new way. but then i played it again & liked it some more. i don't like the beirut guy. but i'm gonna stick with it. expect progress updates

quick brown fox triangle (schlump), Monday, 6 February 2012 23:05 (ten years ago) link

Finally listened to her latest on the NPR stream after seeing a big Sunday Washington Post interview and reading that my local alt-weekly arts editor loves this--- eh, it's ok. Maybe I need to give it more time. On first listen I do not hear enough variety.

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 7 February 2012 14:38 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

tramp is a very strong record. not my sort of thing, usually, but this is great and really catchy in a classy, subtle way

Delia Derbyshire's Complete Moog Cookery Course (electricsound), Saturday, 17 March 2012 05:31 (ten years ago) link

it's weird to me that this thread isn't drowning in hateration, her rise to prominence is prime indie-hater bait

plastic surgery dizbusters (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Saturday, 17 March 2012 07:27 (ten years ago) link

how so

Delia Derbyshire's Complete Moog Cookery Course (electricsound), Saturday, 17 March 2012 09:15 (ten years ago) link

I like Tramp just fine but it's no patch on Epic.

Simon H., Saturday, 17 March 2012 12:15 (ten years ago) link

I love Warsaw. I think the record in a whole is a grower. Anyway it's good breakup listening.

Shin Oliva Suzuki, Saturday, 17 March 2012 14:16 (ten years ago) link

her rise to prominence is prime indie-hater bait

Well, the new one is awash in guests from Beirut, the National, Wye Oak, Walkmen, Doveman, Julianna Barwick. If you have a problem with current indie, you'd have a problem with this. Me, I thought it sounded a bit like the first Breeders record retrofitted for NPR listeners, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 17 March 2012 14:37 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

not sure what you are on about there, the first breeders? was that pod? this sharon van etten has nothing to do with that kind of demoish sounding indie rock. it's more of a songwriter album in the vein of joni mitchell, cat power etc. excellent stuff, great hooks esp. the first five songs, a dreamy voice which goes to the bone, i didn't dig into the lyrics yet but apparently they are very personal about her trying to survive on the roads of new york, she had no home when she recorded the album. i'd like to know if warsaw has got something to do with joy division, probably not but what hell of a song!

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 21:09 (ten years ago) link

if you want to compare it with a first album that would be much more the first michelle shocked, the texas campfire tapes though this is much more polished and arranged, it is not her first album and it shows.

alex in mainhattan, Tuesday, 3 April 2012 21:14 (ten years ago) link

it's weird to me that this thread isn't drowning in hateration, her rise to prominence is prime indie-hater bait

it surely is but maybe she just won't be big enough to circulate outside the npr-indie enclave.

j., Wednesday, 4 April 2012 05:04 (ten years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I'm a latecomer to her -- have been sort of aware of her as somebody I wanted to check out -- but noticing that she's coming to town next week prompted me to get Epic and Tramp. Enjoying both, need some time to sink in, but I'm looking forward to the show.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:44 (ten years ago) link

After going back and hearing Epic, I definitely prefer that one. The new one gets too bogged down by that Brooklyn indie approach, which I don't think suits her as well.

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 20 April 2012 14:47 (ten years ago) link

what would you say defines "that Brooklyn indie approach" exactly?

caulk the wagon and float it, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:12 (ten years ago) link

lol i know that was super weird and vague, i guess just the vibe of the whole album, it sounded a lot like latter-day National albums (which makes sense, given the producer) and Walkmen albums. which is fine for those bands, but i don't think the sound works as well with Sharon's voice. i think she needs something a little more gritty and raw and not so, i don't know, NPRish.

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:19 (ten years ago) link

Dag, she puts on a good show. Terrific performer, great lovely voice, she's touring with a really sharp band. Nice range in the set, from quiet murmury moments to some real howling anthemic rock.

something of an astrological coup (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 25 April 2012 14:00 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

warsaw's cool

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Tuesday, 29 May 2012 00:20 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

tipsy otm.
her show in manchester was spellbinding from start to finish, with a tiptop backing band to boot.

For bodies we are ready to build pyramids (whatever), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 21:12 (nine years ago) link

warsaw's cool

yeah i like the new album quite a bit but i also keep just playing this song over and over

yorba linda carlisle (donna rouge), Wednesday, 13 June 2012 21:20 (nine years ago) link

six months pass...

did anybody hear the demos record
i wanna

kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html (schlump), Monday, 17 December 2012 06:56 (nine years ago) link

i am listening to this & it kinda slays, fwiw

it's super messy & raw. i was not so crazy about the record & this is like the antidote; not in sweetly recasting the songs as lighter, whisperier sve-classic slow jams but in being boombox & drum machine recordings of someone howling their songs into shape. it's a $7 cdr from the label, also.

kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html (schlump), Sunday, 23 December 2012 07:22 (nine years ago) link

uuuugh, these are so, so much better. for the love of god, please never record with the national again sharon van etten. that demo version of serpents is an eye opener.

"reading specialist" (Z S), Sunday, 23 December 2012 15:57 (nine years ago) link

serpents was actually the song i liked on the record, i think it works, i am still trying to find the 7" because the b-side is nice, too. & iirc julianna barwick was playing on the record somewhere, so i can sorta feel the idea of SVE + group, rather than just doing her one man band thing. but then there is the guy from beirut singing & it's just, just what is this, you know. the serpents demo is killer anyway, yes. i hear she is real into leonard cohen, it's kinda like hearing this, the pre-edit jam:

kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html (schlump), Sunday, 23 December 2012 20:24 (nine years ago) link

some of the lyrical swaps in serpents are kinda fascinating btw

kristof-profiting-from-a-childs-illiteracy.html (schlump), Sunday, 23 December 2012 20:35 (nine years ago) link

three weeks pass... --A video of Sharon covering touring mate Nick Cave's _Boatman's Call_ cut, "People They Ain't No Good", during a radio session. It's really lovely. Skip to 1:20 for the performance.

Darvin H.A.M. (AlexPh), Sunday, 13 January 2013 08:17 (nine years ago) link

four months pass...

i really like the warbling aspect of her singing in "give out", where she allows her voice to drift off key in a manner reminiscent of the built to spill guy and the clap your hands say yeah guy. are there other female singers who sing in this very indie style?

Treeship, Thursday, 30 May 2013 02:17 (eight years ago) link

Kristen Hersh?

☉.☉☂ (unregistered), Thursday, 30 May 2013 14:12 (eight years ago) link


☉.☉☂ (unregistered), Thursday, 30 May 2013 14:12 (eight years ago) link

also Amy Annelle. I have to say that the CYHSY guy's voice is one of my least favorite sounds in music.

☉.☉☂ (unregistered), Thursday, 30 May 2013 14:21 (eight years ago) link

yeah, you are not alone in thinking that. but you are not with me. that album came out when i was 15 or something though so i think that crackling, off-key sound, affected as it is, is a thing that works for me when it is done well. also i see it as a variation of jeff mangum's singing voice, and ITAOTS was super-formative to me.

the strange and important sound of the synthesizer (Treeship), Thursday, 30 May 2013 14:26 (eight years ago) link

but i can see how it would sound grating to other people, kind of like the grumbling, 90s, pearl jam voice is just the worst sound ever for me. thanks for the tips.

the strange and important sound of the synthesizer (Treeship), Thursday, 30 May 2013 14:27 (eight years ago) link

She's an actress on that new Netflix show "The OA". She's good.

Everything Moves Towards The Sun (Ross), Tuesday, 20 December 2016 04:12 (five years ago) link

I just now discovered that in the credits. Also, fuck this show.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 20 December 2016 04:34 (five years ago) link

is she pregnant? I think I saw a post of her on fb that gave me that impression. I love her albums unreservedly.

I want to watch this show but I hear it will make me give up all hope on life

akm, Tuesday, 20 December 2016 05:37 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

Man tramp is classic

done and dusted (Ross), Friday, 4 May 2018 06:21 (four years ago) link

Man like Olsen she’s singing about an abusive ex that should go duck themselves

done and dusted (Ross), Friday, 4 May 2018 06:25 (four years ago) link

Are We There real classic too

niels, Friday, 4 May 2018 11:49 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

Three songs from the new album due 18th January have come out and they are all excellent! I think I like the spooky Jupiter 4 best but the title song Seventeen which is nicely building up to her primal scream is great too. I am very intrigued about the rest of the album.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Saturday, 12 January 2019 14:35 (three years ago) link

“seventeen” blew me away

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Saturday, 12 January 2019 14:37 (three years ago) link

never thought much of anything she done previously, but am riding hard for "Comeback Kid"

veronica moser, Saturday, 12 January 2019 17:53 (three years ago) link

this album is gonna kick my ass, emotionally

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Thursday, 17 January 2019 15:34 (three years ago) link

Brad otm & I can't wait.

Trying to decide whether I should listen at my desk today, or hold out till the drive home.

The thing from the popular "That Thing" song (bernard snowy), Friday, 18 January 2019 12:35 (three years ago) link

I'm not sure what I think about this at all - the first few songs are ruined by bad arrangements and production yet again but Comeback Kid and Seventeen are terrific.

Matt DC, Saturday, 19 January 2019 12:25 (three years ago) link

Didn't feel it until watching the Jimmy Kimmel vid, but Seventeen really channels some Bruce.

eva logorrhea (bendy), Saturday, 19 January 2019 13:20 (three years ago) link

I'm not sure what I think about this at all - the first few songs are ruined by bad arrangements and production yet again but Comeback Kid and Seventeen are terrific.

― Matt DC, Saturday, January 19, 2019 5:25 AM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

idk i think the arrangement of the first song is perfect with those spaced-out piano chords, and while i haven’t gotten into “memorial day” as a song yet i really love the brief dip into trip-hop

“comeback kid” -> “jupiter 4” -> “seventeen” is absolutely the core of the record tho

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:04 (three years ago) link

also really love the bounciness of “you shadow”

jolene club remix (BradNelson), Saturday, 19 January 2019 14:05 (three years ago) link

This new one sounds pretty good to me, and the songs are good, but the whole languid-vocals-over-robotic-rhythms seems a strange, kind of over-familiar choice. .

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 29 January 2019 19:26 (three years ago) link

I don't love this album nearly as much as Are We There or Tramp; and I agree that the production choices here make the album seem slightly ... generic. Seventeen is a great song but I'm struggling to recall what the other songs sound like.

akm, Wednesday, 30 January 2019 20:29 (three years ago) link

actually you know what this album reminds me of? the last warpaint album (and the one before it slightly), at least productionwise. Sounds good but I feel like it also dilutes some of the impact of the songs, some of them mixed to a point where they just sound soupy.

akm, Thursday, 31 January 2019 04:18 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

V. nice new song, a soundtrack cut

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 18:01 (one year ago) link

^ Just heard this song this weekend, and have been listening to it on repeat -- it's really good!

Frobisher, Monday, 19 October 2020 02:57 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

i'm v. late to this but i can't stop listening to this song:

would a nit be nice? (NickB), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 20:09 (one year ago) link

she popped up in a cameo in one of the sundance movies that i streamed the other night (how it ends, which was cute but very inessential)

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 3 February 2021 20:12 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Fiona covering Sharon

self-clowning oven (Murgatroid), Thursday, 15 April 2021 03:17 (one year ago) link

IDLES the band doesn't do it for me in general, but "Peace Signs" is such a perfect song, their whacked-out cover works quite well.

Citole Country (bendy), Thursday, 15 April 2021 13:23 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

From the new VU tribute album (w/ Angel Olsen on backing vocals)

papal hotwife (milo z), Wednesday, 22 September 2021 06:22 (eight months ago) link

three months pass...

I somehow didn't see the video for this until the other day, lost track of how many times I've watched it. This is the hottest video I've seen in some years. Director really knows how to capture some smoldering looks. Production on this song is a wonderful Spector Wall of Sound that never gets muddy.

akm, Sunday, 26 December 2021 16:11 (four months ago) link

Great kitchen dancing.

djh, Sunday, 26 December 2021 16:26 (four months ago) link

Angel Olsen's haircut is my album of the year.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Sunday, 26 December 2021 18:01 (four months ago) link

Song is so epic. It needs an '80s blockbuster end credits sequence to soundtrack.

a man often referred to in the news media as the Duke of Saxony (tipsy mothra), Monday, 27 December 2021 04:16 (four months ago) link

four months pass...

new album!!! i wasn’t even aware

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 6 May 2022 14:11 (two weeks ago) link

I wrote about it and had a chat with her

Piedie Gimbel, Friday, 6 May 2022 14:42 (two weeks ago) link

Lovely piece that, I’ll be checking out the album!

assert (matttkkkk), Friday, 6 May 2022 21:47 (two weeks ago) link

So I think this album is mostly a slog. She reverted back to long, slow, dramatic songs and ditched the bounce of her last album. Weirdly the album kicks up the pace only in the last few songs - if almost feels like the track list is mistakenly reversed.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 9 May 2022 14:24 (one week ago) link

I'd put off listening to this because I'd given up hope that she'd given up hope - seems like she'd conquered her demons, which while wonderful for the human being had made her albums less engrossing to me. I felt bad saying that out loud, but maybe I just prefer unadorned slogs. "Anything" has what I was missing. Her records have been growers for me, so hoping more will grow soon.

bendy, Monday, 9 May 2022 18:53 (one week ago) link

Well, I think this album is a marked improvement over the last one, which sounded like crap even when the songs were good. But I prefer her doing slow and sad.

akm, Monday, 9 May 2022 18:55 (one week ago) link

Interesting- I think her last album is by far her best. I like some of the older stuff too but I felt like she’d hit a new level with that one. But the new album is much more of a piece with her earlier output.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Monday, 9 May 2022 19:23 (one week ago) link

It's down to whether you like dreary folk shit or pop music, I guess. I mean I like both but I didn't find the poppiest moments on the last album to be very convincing (though I like seeing her play those songs live; but I felt like the performances on the album were more hesitant and the production really amped up to add energy that wasn't quite there in the studio and as a result things I like about her sounded buried).

akm, Monday, 9 May 2022 19:55 (one week ago) link

I can’t stop listening to this album. Too short is my only complaint. There are so many beautiful songs on this.

akm, Thursday, 12 May 2022 03:44 (one week ago) link

this album is def better than the previous

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 12 May 2022 03:51 (one week ago) link

Hm! I had no idea ILM didn't think much of her last album.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 12 May 2022 09:31 (one week ago) link

it’s good but it felt like a few of the new production tricks distracted from what i liked about her. i love dirgey dramatic sharon, i like feeling like her songs are gonna cover me very slowly with their big black wings

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 12 May 2022 13:18 (one week ago) link

I like the new album so far and it seems to grow with each play. Especially « headspace » which is great although she might have gone a bit over the top with the repetition of the lyrics in the chorus !

AlXTC from Paris, Thursday, 12 May 2022 16:47 (one week ago) link

Headspace is my favorite track on the album

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 12 May 2022 22:41 (one week ago) link

I will say that several of the songs tend to be builds that just repeat, then grow in intensity, and then end; there is less of what you may call 'intricate songwriting' involved in something like Anything. But, at the same time, Anything is one of the best songs on the album. So it's not like it's not working. I'm sensitive to this stuff because when I write songs like this (two chords that repeat over and over for some amount of time) one of my bandmates gives me shit and says it needs 'something else'; sometimes he's right, sometimes I disagree with him. In the case of Anything, the 'something else' is really increased volume and layered overdubs. This is either a legit approach to writing a song to you, or a cop out. I think it's legit, but I do see the other side.

akm, Monday, 16 May 2022 22:36 (six days ago) link

Anything sounds like Belinda Carlisle.

giraffe, Tuesday, 17 May 2022 08:20 (five days ago) link

this is definitely my favorite sve album, wow

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 20 May 2022 17:53 (two days ago) link

"born" very fumbling towards ecstasy

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 20 May 2022 18:06 (two days ago) link


flamenco drop (BradNelson), Friday, 20 May 2022 18:16 (two days ago) link

I don’t know enough about her œuvre but I really like this album, yeah

AlXTC from Paris, Friday, 20 May 2022 19:27 (two days ago) link

'far away' has some very definite Cocteau Twins vibes to it once the drum and bass comes in

akm, Friday, 20 May 2022 20:28 (two days ago) link

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