Posts Tagged ‘Sharon Van Etten’

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Singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten experienced a lot of change after the release of her last album, 2014’s Are We There, and they’re the kind of life-altering shifts newfound romantic partnership, motherhood, career advancements—that are all but destined to reveal themselves in one’s art. And here, on her fifth studio effort Remind Me Tomorrow, those evolutions are apparent in a powerful sonic swerve, and in Van Etten’s desire to explore both nostalgia and rebirth, and maybe even how they intertwine.

Remind Me Tomorrow was the first great rock album of the year, and it would behoove any and all of Van Etten’s fans, even those who staunchly prefer her folk-leaning material, and rock ‘n’ roll aficionados of all stripes to open their ears (and their hearts) to this beautifully executed pivot. And for all its bold sonic upheavals—the addition of drum machines and electric shred and cavernous synth Remind Me Tomorrow maintains Van Etten’s gothic sensibilities.

Sharon Van Etten was truly one of the great lyricists of the ’10s, but with this breathtaking project, she’s proved an artistic pliancy her contemporaries may not possess. She hit her stride with Are We There, but here she’s not even on the ground.


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Rock’n’roll evolves, shifts, mutates—and persists. Anyone who doubts this need only listen to “Seventeen” which performs the magic trick of weaving a classic-sounding song out of strands and blocks of textures that never quite existed in music’s “classic rock” heyday. A heavy beat offsets a desultory piano line, synthesizers at once ferocious and distant blaze around the edges, guitars eventually squonk onto the scene, all while Van Etten sings poetically of longing, nostalgia, and destiny—lyrics at once concrete and slippery, a deft interweaving of adult and teen-aged introspection that as a listener you intuit more than comprehend. The song rumbles and, eventually, roars. A master of subtle melodic gestures, Van Etten along the way crafts a chorus that slays with muted glory.

You can hear Bruce Springsteen in the anthemic energy of this song, and while I get the comparison, leaving it at that diminishes Van Etten’s accomplishment. The entire album in fact strikes my ear as a brilliant example of how to be a 21st-century rock’n’roller—taking the bones of archetypal rock music , and then planting your own individual 2019 self, with all its accumulated know-how and influences, right into the heart of it. Since we last heard from Sharon Van Etten (2014’s Are We There), she has become an actor, a film composer, a mother, and a graduate student in psychology. Which is just to say that she has quite a formidable self to align with one type of creative expression or another. When it came time to record a new album, she opted for a producer, John Congleton, known for synth-pop stylings, and arrived at the studio inspired by the dark, reverberant music of Portishead and Nick Cave. Something arresting was bound to come of all of this, and it did in the form of the enigmatic but majestic Remind Me Tomorrow, which was released in January on Jagjaguwar Records. That’s where you’ll find “Seventeen.”.

You can listen to Remind Me Tomorrow, and then buy it, on Bandcamp, where it is available digitally, on CD, or on vinyl. And in case you missed it, another song from the album, the brilliant “No One’s Easy To Love,”.

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Sharon Van Etten’s full length album, Are We There, was released in 2014, but she’s been anything but idle in the time since. She tried her hand at acting with a role on The OA, and appeared at The Bang Bang Bar on an episode of Twin Peaks: The Return (as well as playing David Lynch’s Festival of Disruption). That’s not the only musical project she’s been involved with, either; she lent vocals to music from Lee Ranaldo, Land of Talk, Hercules & Love Affair, Michael Cera, and Lost Horizons. She also scored Strange Weather, appeared on the soundtrack for The Man in High Castle, and re-released her 2009 debut, Because I Was in Love. We may be able to expect even more new music from Sharon who Also became a mother .In an interview with The Creative Independent that was published last November, she said she was heading back to the studio “next week.” The interview also talks about how motherhood is inspiring her writing now,

The motivation behind the re-release was related to music people heard on The OA, her getting her masters back, and just perfect timing in general: “During this off time, where I probably won’t have a record out for another year, why not share something that will feel new to people? Why not remind people where I came from a little bit, before I scare them with my next record?” We promise we won’t be scared!

“Seventeen” off Sharon Van Etten’s new album “Remind Me Tomorrow” out Jan 18th on Jagjaguwar Records

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Sharon Van Etten’s new single, “Jupiter 4”, is probably more likely to be named after a Roland Synth than a crack team of Jupiter bound astronauts. The track, shared this week, is the second to come from Sharon’s upcoming album, Remind Me Tomorrow, due early next year on Jagjaguwar Records.

If the first single, Comeback Kid, was probably the closest Sharon’s ever got to a pop-song, Jupiter 4 is a completely different beast, all moody drones, eerie noises and impending gloom; there’s a touch of The Twilight Sad about it, which is as exciting as it is confusing. Despite the dense musical accompaniment, the lyrical content seems to be quietly upbeat, a declaration of passion, “it’s true that everyone would like to have met, a love so real”,sure with the musical accompaniment it feels almost creepily intense, but taken as face value, Sharon’s words are unquestionably positive. We’ve heard two snap-shots of Sharon’s new album, both two different moods, two different directions, two reasons to be very excited where Sharon Van Etten takes us next.

Remind Me Tomorrow is out January 18th via Jagjaguwar.

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After five long years, the wonderful Sharon Van Etten has shared details of her follow up to 2014’s excellent Are We There.

Her new record is titled “Remind Me Tomorrow” and will see a release on 18th January, via Jagjaguwar Records. The first taste from it is, appropriately enough, “Comeback Kid”, which is a track that is altogether more urgent and driven than anything we’ve heard from her before.


Dear fans,

Thank you so much for your support and encouragement the past 4 years as I have gone back to school, had a child, and landed my first acting gig. During that time, I wrote a record and I am excited to announce it will be out Jan 18th 2019. Here is the first single, ‘Comeback Kid’.

See you soon.heart, sharon

Released by Jagjaguwar Records 2nd October 2018

Marissa Nadler: <i>For My Crimes</i> Review

Marissa Nadler is comfortably the most consistent folk artist plucking an acoustic guitar right now. With eight studio albums in 14 years—not a dud among them—plus a number of self-released records, EPs, guest spots, and compilation appearances, she boasts the super prolific output of studio-loitering rappers, productive paperback writers, or Samuel L. Jackson. But For My Crimes might well be the best record in her saintly catalog. After the heavier, post-rock atmospherics of her fine 2016 release Strangers, Nadler opts for a more stripped-down ethos.

Maybe this is a wild misreading, but Marissa Nadler doesn’t get nearly enough credit—or any at all, really—for having a sense of humour. Her wit is as dry as it as subtle on her eighth album, a collection of songs that are also disconsolate and foreboding. Those traits are how the Boston singer is more generally known, and for good enough reason: Nadler favors a harrowing folk sound that she calls “slow music,” full of spectral, minor-key musical arrangements that emphasize guitars, piano and strings. She rarely uses drums, which sometimes gives the impression that her songs are untethered to anything more than her voice.

Nadler’s vocals are at once soft and steely on lyrics with a poetic, sometimes gothic streak. It’s a very intentional, stylized approach, which makes her flashes of wit all the more startling. Yet there’s a droll undertone to parts of For My Crimes. On “All Out of Catastrophes,” Nadler ratchets up the melodrama to teetering heights, and when her lover mumbles another woman’s name in his sleep, she breaks the tension by observing, “It was the nicest thing you said.” She mentions someone wanting to fake his death “again” on the quietly poppy “Flamethrower,” and offers a skeptical rebuke in the title of “Are You Really Gonna Move to the South?” It’s sensual and melancholy, and Nadler’s voice floats atop finger picked acoustic guitar and an aching high harmony part.


There are darker themes on For My Crimes. Nadler sings the title track from the perspective of a death row inmate pleading to not be remembered for his transgressions. Her vocals are calm and matter-of-fact, and Angel Olsen contributes a harmony part mixed far enough back that it hovers like a shadow. “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” captures the feeling of swearing off a favorite singer whose music dredges up once-fond memories, with trebly electric guitar strumming, sad, spiraling violins and plus vocals from Sharon Van Etten. Album closer “Say Goodbye to That Car” is unexpectedly poignant as Nadler thinks back on her associations with the old beater, and turns the odometer reading into a hypnotic refrain over a spare guitar part. The riff on “Blue Vapor” strains against the limits of the song, injecting a sense of urgency, while Nadler and guest Kristin Kontrol of Dum Dum Girls send their voices spiraling upward, alternately intertwining and tangling. It’s perhaps the most forceful moment on an album built on understated power, evocative lyrics and Nadler’s lithe voice—and, just maybe, a hint or two of sly humor.

The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, “For My Crimes”, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography. The album is set for release on September 28th, via Bella Union and Sacred Bones.

Following the release of 2016’s acclaimed Strangers, Nadler’s relationships were put to the test as she left the Boston area on tour. She wrote throughout 2017 about this tension, and ended up with three times as many songs as she needed. But after reviewing the demos with her co-producers Justin Raisen and Lawrence Rothman, Nadler wrote a flurry of tight but no less intense new songs in the week before arriving at Rothman’s Laurel Canyon studio, House of Lux, in early January. She considered it a challenge to herself, applying new strategies and structures to the craft of “slow music” she’s honed over the last 15 years. From that group of songs came nearly all of the singles on For My Crimes, some of the most indelible of Nadler’s career.

The opening title track is classic Nadler: a sweeping, vaguely Southern drama of voices, strings, and acoustic guitar, that walks the fine line between character song and personal indictment by metaphor. “For My Crimes” spawned out of a songwriting exercise in which Nadler wrote from the perspective of someone on death row, but the song casts a dark shadow over an album that turns marital conflict into inner reflection. Helping Nadler dig down into the song’s remorseful soul is her old friend Angel Olsen, who serves as a distraught echo from beyond in the chorus.

“Blue Vapor” has an intoxicating raw energy luring you in, somewhere between Springsteen and a grunge band playing MTV Unplugged back in the day. It feels at once tight and improvisational, balancing on little more than Nadler’s steady strumming and vulnerable harmonies with Kristin Kontrol (of Dum Dum Girls), until the heavy, purposeful style of Hole drummer Patty Schemel conjures chaos in the second half. This slow burn feeling is all too appropriate for a song centered around repeating patterns and creeping numbness in a relationship. “Blue Vapor” names that strange ambivalence and turns it into a chant that hangs in the air long after the song ends.

Dreaminess and eeriness have often been two sides of the same coin in Marissa Nadler songs. Where “For My Crimes” and “Blue Vapor” come from her dark side, the album has plenty of moments that twinkle in their sadness and sentimentality. “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” is one of those highly specific songs you’ll get if you’ve ever lost a favorite band to your own broken heart. It sways perfectly in its bittersweetness, like a slow dance you never want to end. After the strings swell and the bass pedals kick in, Nadler coos, “Cause I remember/The songs you sang/To me when it was you/I was falling for.”

Later, closing track “Said Goodbye To That Car” turns a final odometer reading into a rhythm for a catchy, wistful hook: “1-1-9-6-5-7, and the engine blew/“1-1-9-6-5-7, and I thought of you,” Nadler lulls, harmonizing with herself. It’s an ingenious way to capture the end of an era in one small moment, and she moves as delicately as you would handling an old photo with her sweet oohs.

Bolstering the intimacy of these songs is the strong feminine energy that defined their recording. Between Rothman’s fluidity with both gender and genre (as heard on his 2017 album The Book of Law), and Raisen’s track record of successful collaborations with strong women (Olsen, Kim Gordon, Charli XCX), Nadler felt empowered to explore without judgement in the studio. With the exception of a single saxophonist, every player on the album is a woman of notable pedigree and distinct style, many of whom have played with Nadler over the years. In addition to the cameos by Angel Olsen and Kristin Kontrol, Sharon Van Etten sings backup on “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” and “Lover Release Me.” Mary Lattimore joins on harp for “Are You Really Gonna Move to the South,” while the great experimental multi-instrumentalist Janel Leppin plays strings throughout the record.

These women and others helped make For My Crimes as dynamic as it is intimate, but Nadler’s mesmerizing voice stripped of nearly all reverb  is what sits at the center of these songs. You can hear the emotional range of her performances more than ever before, from the spectral harmonizing of “Are You Really Gonna Move To The South” to the cheeky boredom of “All Out Of Catastrophes,” two other highlights. As a singer, she has never sounded more confident than she does here.

Adding to the album’s deeply personal feeling is its abstracted artwork, featuring Nadler’s original oil paintings. Though Nadler is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and a semi-retired art teacher (she has one student left a 95-year-old named Doris), For My Crimes marks the first album cover bearing one of her paintings. She also channeled the album’s themes into paintings corresponding to specific tracks, which will be included as prints in the limited edition version of For My Crimes (and in some cases, for sale as originals on Nadler’s website).


releases September 28th, 2018

It’s a common trajectory for musicians to start out sounding tentative and insecure, only to later bloom into battle-tested, fully formed talents. That’s surely been Sharon Van Etten’s story, as she’s transitioned from a quavering solo artist into a muscular rock ‘n’ roll front woman — the kind you’d see stalking festival stages.

But Van Etten’s 2009 debut, because i was in love, doesn’t actually sound tentative or insecure. Instead, it functions as a sort of concept album about tentativeness and insecurity — about examining tiny interpersonal details until they become all-encompassing. From the album’s very first words — “I wish I knew what to do with you / But the truth is, I ain’t got a clue”  she’s at a loss for answers, yet mindful of the million tiny signals and mixed messages that keep her up at night.

In “Much More Than That,” Van Etten’s opening plea (“Please don’t take me lightly”) introduces a song in which she strains to be heard in a relationship, and gets left with no choice but to magnify the impact of touches and glances: “My toe hit your toe lightly / Your toe met my heel right back / And I don’t think I need much more than that.” But, viewed next to the more assertive albums that succeeded it, because i was in love snaps into focus as an album about learning how much more she does need — and how much she deserves.

In light of the success that also followed, it makes sense that because i was in love would get the remixed-and-remastered deluxe-reissue treatment, complete with two lovely bonus tracks (“I’m Giving Up On You,” “You Didn’t Really Do That”) and the parenthetical title revision (it was) to re-frame the album in hindsight. It captures a sound Sharon Van Etten has since left behind, but it remains radiant, universal and utterly timeless.

thanks npr


Sharon Van Etten has become a force to be reckoned with within the world of Indie music over the last eight years, and it all began in 2009 with the release of her debut album “Because I Was In Love”.

Sharon Van Etten has announced (it was) because i was in love, a deluxe remixed and remastered reissue of her debut 2009 album featuring two bonus tracks. It will be released digitally on all services and platforms, but the vinyl will be available exclusively through Vinyl Me Please and Van Etten’s online store. The vinyl version will include new artwork and liner notes. Of the album, Van Etten wrote in a statement: “It was an innocent and beautiful record, which some of my newer fans may not even know about. This seemed like the perfect time to remix and remaster it, and give it a new life.”

She opened up quite a bit about what her life was like around the making of the record and the different twists and turns of recording it, and talked about its new reissue as (it was) “Because I Was In Love”.

A limited edition, remastered vinyl reissue of Sharon’s debut, now titled (it was) Because I Was In Love,

‘(it was) because i was in love’ out November 17th, 2017.


Sharon Van Etten's new EP, I Don't Want To Let You Down, is due out June 9 on Jagjaguwar.

Sharon Van Etten releasesed her new EP, ‘I Don’t Want to Let You Down,’ on June 9th! 

Sharon Van Etten 2014 album, “Are We There”, was one of the more focused, devastating recordings of the year, an unflinching set of songs that trace the contours of a doomed relationship. The album doesn’t spare either party — Van Etten is as critical of her own decisions as she is damning of her lover’s minor cruelties and missteps. It’s an uncut catharsis machine, and listening to it can wring you out.

Amazingly, there’s more where Are We There came from. Van Etten’s new EP, came out June 9th, called I Don’t Want To Let You Down, and it covers some of the same musical and lyrical ground as the album. We’re happy to share not only the music — you can listen to all five of the EP’s songs below — but also a behind-the-scenes peek into the story behind the EP and the album, in Sharon Van Etten’s own words. As she tells it, the growth of her musical career itself was the catalyst for the end of the relationship.

Van Etten’s way with a melody, and her remarkable voice, can make these stories seem epic, almost mythical. But they all center on the kind of tough, essential, everyday dilemmas that are the heart of living a satisfying life, the same ones that break your heart the hardest.

1. I Don’t Want To Let You Down
“I knew that the choices that I’d made in deciding to pursue music full time, I knew that it was going to be a struggle in my real life. And I still wanted to make — whether it be my family or friends or in my personal relationship — I wanted people to be proud of me and know that I still felt like I was doing what I needed to do. And loving [them] as much as I can, but knowing that I was letting somebody down in the process. It was somebody that I was with off and on for ten years and someone that supported me from the very beginning. And our relationship in my New York, adult life developed over time. And it’s really intense how things can grow from a place of support to when you get to a place where the reasons they were supporting you overtake your life a little bit. And you have to put your relationship on hold to pursue that. It’s someone I still care about but don’t speak with any more. It was a hard decision to make, but I had to pursue music. In the end it turned into a choice between the two. And it’s not just me making a sacrifice, it’s me hurting someone. I have to acknowledge the pain the other person has been going through.”

2. Just Like Blood

“I’m not very good at communicating my emotions. And usually it’s when I’m really sad and or in a dark place, and this song was when I was pretty angry. Sometimes in those situations I feel like I go into a victim role and completely shut down. I’m not aware of my surroundings and I can’t connect with people. And it feels really intense and I’m not able to talk about it. And I have to retreat and write and record and listen back to it. It’s all part of how I write anyway. But it was one of those times where I was having a fight about going on tour versus being at home and deciding to take the tour. It was the Nick Cave tour I decided to take instead of being home after I had promised to be home for a while. We were just fighting a lot around that time. And for something I was really passionate about and someone he even admired, I had a really hard time understanding why it was a battle all the time. I’m not an angry person and I don’t like fighting. I like being able to have a conversation when both parties are open to it. When somebody is really shut down and not really listening and set in their ways, it’s obviously something they’re going through that you can’t connect with them. So it was really frustrating. He definitely knew how to push my buttons and every now and then I had a moment I wasn’t proud of for sure.”

3. I Always Fall Apart
“I think it’s a half-joke. I actually wrote this one about Ben Goldberg and Ba Da Bing Records and missing the old times, and acknowledging how he took me under his wing. And because of that how I haven’t even been home. Things are growing and it’s been really overwhelming. He tried to nurture me and look out for me and all of a sudden I’m gone. I don’t see him anymore and I miss him! So when I say, ‘Where have you been?,’ it’s a half-joke. I try to say it like ‘Ben,’ like ‘Where have you, Ben?'” [Note: Ba Da Bing Records is a Brooklyn-based label founded by Ben Goldberg, who employed Van Etten as a publicist from 2007 to 2010, when Ba Da Bing released her album Epic. Van Etten is now on Jagjaguwar.)

4. Pay My Debts
“This was just kind of a freak song. I had just started learning how to do digital drums in Garage Band. The demo version is a little bit different, but as soon as I added the electronic drums it sounded like Peter Gabriel. So I kind of set it aside. It just wasn’t fitting with everything else we were working on.

“The lyrics have changed in the year or two I worked on it. It started off where, with [the 2012 album] Tramp, I literally was able to pay off all my debts, and was able to get my first apartment in a while and my first place on my own. So it’s one of the first songs I wrote when I got my own apartment. But in that process, also [I was] returning home, reconnecting with people from home who seemed to resent you for being gone. And that time travel that seems to take place when you go on tour and you’re gone for six months and you come back home and you’re excited to see everybody. But every now and then there’s a friend of yours you reconnect with and you realize life goes on without you. There are some people where you can’t just go and pick back up with them. A lot happens when you’re gone. So in that way, the debts you have to pay by coming back and catching up and reconnecting and making that effort. I mean, that’s an intense thing to come home to.”

5. Tell Me [Live] (Previously only available on the Tramp demos)
“This is a song I’ve tried in different contexts and the only way it ever feels real to me is just as a straight-up band song. I tried a minimal version that just wasn’t working. I love it as a song, it just never came together in the studio. But as I got to know my new band we started playing B-sides and outtakes at live shows to keep it fresh for us and for returning fans. I can’t think of any other way to do this song now. Just the live energy of it, it just makes sense. It has this natural momentum that’s hard to create in a studio environment.


“I wrote this toward the end of recording Tramp, so it did overlap with [the 2014 album Are We There?] some. It’s still a love song and has that drawn out narrative I do. I wrote it during one of the ‘off periods’ with the person who Are We There is centered around. We were off and on for so long that it was one of those times where I really didn’t understand, ‘Are we in a relationship? Do you want this to happen? You’re not communicating with me.’ Because of my work I fall off the face of the earth for a while. But as a person he’d fall off the face of the earth for a while. But whenever we were together we had so much fun. I felt we both challenged each other. I just don’t know why he could never be completely open with me. And I was frustrated as hell.”