The first time I ever heard the name Sharon Van Etten, I thought old lady. I think it’s a combination of a former school teacher I used to get drunk as a bartender who would flirt with everyone after a second glass of chardonnay and the last name prefix “Van”. But, Van Etten is changing my connotations of her name, as project after project has seen her collaborate with some of the biggest names around. From her haunting vocals on The Antlers’ near-perfect record Hospice to live performance collaborations with The National, Bon Iver and Megafaun, she’s making fans of the musicians you want in your corner, something that can do nothing but help when she brings the follow-up to her acclaimed debut Because I Was In Love.
With a sophomore release modestly titled Epic, the talented singer joins the Ba Da Bing! family (home of Beirut and Comets on Fire), bringing her songs of heartbreak and hope that are relatable and, at the same time, all her own. The record was made in Philadelphia at Miner Street Studios with producer Brian McTear, the same place she cut her debut but with a stark contrast: the scale.
Her first album was hers, using minimalism to emphasize the romantic longing. Epic will see the sound become, well, more epic. Instead of just guitar to accompany her voice, she will be joined by instruments that many bands are employing (though I doubt they will catch on) like drums and piano. Even the vocals will be filled out with a trio of supporting players: Meg Baird (Espers), Cat Martino and Jessica Larrabee (She Keeps Bees).
Sure to gain the attention of critics and fans, she is already making advanced waves through a scheduled spot to open the Pitchfork Music Festival. Not bad for a nomad who took jobs and gigs at every level of the industry, just to be around music. Well, she’s definitely found what she was looking for.
Check out the album track “Love More” below.
01. A Crime
02. Peace Sign
03. Save Yourself
05. Don’t Do It
06. One Day
07. Love More
Sharon Van Etten 2010 Tour Dates:
07/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Zebulon for The Builder
07/16 – Chicago, IL @ Pitchfork Music Festival
07/17 – Chicago, IL @ Schuba’s *
08/07 – Brooklyn, NY @ Bushwick Starr ^
09/10 – Raleigh, NC @ Hopscotch Festival
* = w/ Here We Go Magic
^ = w/ Mike Visser