Entries in Sharon Van Etten (7)


Sharon Van Etten - "I Love You but I'm Lost"


Sharon Van Etten recently hosted The New Yorker up to her West Village apartment where she sang “I Love You but I’m Lost,” from her forthcoming album, “Are We There.” She showcases her rich, earthly tone and even gives a little insight into what makes her tick as a songwriter. Watch the performance above.

If the intimate nature of the video is appealing, be sure to catch her in person. Van Etten is about to embark on an ambitious world tour, featuring local stops at the venerable Iron Horse Music Hall (May 8) and the intimate Columbus Theatre (May 10). For a full list of tour dates, visit her website here.


TONIGHT (2.23): Sharon Van Etten at the Paradise

Words // Scott Pingeton

Sharon Van Etten's Tramp is one of my favorite albums of the year so far, but that's no surprise.  It has the fragile emotion I originally fell in love with on Because I Was In Love and the mature songwriting of Epic - plus a newfound confidence.  A little anger never hurts in rock and roll, and Sharon does it well.  That emotion, songwriting and confidence are evident on this demo version of "Serpents":

Sharon Van Etten - Serpents (Demo Version)

Sharon will be at the Paradise in Boston tonight with Shearwater - a show you really shouldn't miss.  If you've procrastinated on getting tickets, you're off the hook this time...it's (surprisingly) not sold out (yet).  Come on Boston...if NYC can sell out 3 shows (2 Bowery, 1 Music Hall of Williamsburg), can't we sell out one? Buy tickets here

Check out our live recording of Sharon Van Etten last April at Brighton Music Hall - it's absolutely pristine, and one of the most popular recordings we shared last year.


Sharon Van Etten Live at Brighton Music Hall 4.14.11

My first experience with Sharon Van Etten was 2009's Because I Was In Love, but it wasn't until last years' Epic that I really fell in love with her angelic voice and powerfully personal songs.  That album was fairly high on my favorite albums of 2010 list, and I wasn't alone - it seems like it was on almost every "best of" list I saw.  Just now in the midst of her first headlining tour, she stopped in Boston last Thursday with Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and St. Claire.

The set began with the songwriter alone on stage, guitar in hand.  "I Wish I Knew", the first song from her debut, instantly quieted the audience with its whispered beauty.  The first three songs off Epic followed, ratcheting up the volume and intensity, as her bare bones band (just bass and drums) joined for "Peace Signs" and stayed for most of the main set.  All of the favorites from Epic were featured - "One Day", "Save Yourself", "Don't Do It" and the gorgeous, set-closing "Love More", all played with even more fervor than the album versions.

Sharon Van Etten is working on her follow-up to Epic with The National's Aaron Dessner, and one of the highlights of the night was "All I Can", a new song that one hopes will find its way onto that upcoming album.  In quintessential style, Van Etten croons "we all make mistakes" over jangly electric guitar and a driving rhythm.  Another new song, with a working title of "Kevin's" - named for the owner of the apartment in which it was written, Van Etten explained - was more somber, featuring gorgeous falsetto vocals.

On stage, she draws you in with her casual, endearingly-normal between-song banter, and then knocks you on your ass with the power of her voice and gravity of her songs.  One moment projecting a casual, self-deprecating personality and the next moment transforming into a powerhouse of visceral raw emotion.  The crowd was an interesting mix as well - many there to comiserate, fewer there to celebrate.  All there to witness a night of powerful, beautiful music from one of the most promising young songwriters writing songs today.

A full recording in absolutely pristine sound is available for stream or download.  Huge thanks to Sharon Van Etten and Brighton Music Hall (especially Dan Seiders on sound, who deserves all the credit for how amazing this sounds).  As always please support the bands who allow us to tape shows by buying their music.  Enjoy, and share!

Sharon Van Etten
Brighton Music Hall - Boston MA
April 14, 2011

I Wish I Knew
A Crime
Peace Signs
Save Yourself
Don't Do It
One Day
Tell Me
All I Can
Love More
Have You Seen
A Joke Or A Lie

Full set download:  mp3 zip

Look for a review + live recording of Lady Lamb The Beekeeper's amazing set soon!


This Week In Boston: Sharon Van Etten, Wye Oak and more

It's going to be a busy week for live music in Boston.  Here's a quick rundown of some of the shows we recommend checking out, along with free downloads from each band. 

Timber Timbre
at Brighton Music Hall  |  Tickets
Timber Timbre - Creep On Creepin On


Memphis, The Barr Brothers
at TT The Bears  |  Tickets
Memphis - I Want The Lights On After Dark

Wye Oak at Middle East Upstairs  |  Tickets
Wye Oak - Civilian


Handsome Furs at Great Scott  |  Tickets
Handsome Furs - What We Had


Sharon Van Etten, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper, St. Claire
at Brighton Music Hall  |  Tickets
Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It


Hotels and Highways
at Cafe 939  |  Tickets
Hotels and Highways - Train Whistle


at Great Scott  |  Tickets
O'Death - Bugs

Also, check out this super-creepy video for Bugs from O'Death's upcoming album Outside (out April 19).  The video was shot along the Maine coast, which means I may never go to Maine again:


21 Favorite Albums of 2010:  12-16

12. Dr. Dog - Shame, Shame

Dr. Dog's music has always found a comfortable groove somewhere between The Band's rootsy-rock and The Beatles' more psychedelic moments.  Nothing on Shame, Shame, does anything to change that reputation, but why change a formula that works?  What has changed over time is the band's confidence on stage and willingness to commit that live, raw sound to tape as opposed to the more carefully-crafted studio creations that characterized their early records.  Indeed Shame, Shame follows that progression, featuring loud electric guitars, bouncy basslines and a swagger that translates directly to the stage - but the songs are the key.  At the same time ragged, poignant, anthemic - it's an album that begs to be played amongst friends, loudly.

Dr. Dog - Shadow People


13. Sharon Van Etten - Epic

Last year, Sharon Van Etten's Because I Was In Love was more or less an afterthought for me.  My mistake.  From the first time I heard Epic, though, I was hooked and instantly fell in love with Van Etten's intensely emotional songs and soaring voice.  I've called her songs "moody odes to love and loss [that] are best consumed late at night with a bottle of something strong" - but I'm now convinced there isn't necessarily a certain time or mood for these songs.  As music fans we so often find our pleasure in the pain of the artists, and this is surely one of those times - but as personal as these songs are, Sharon Van Etten turns the pain into something beautiful, something we can all relate to.

Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It



14. The Head And The Heart - Self-Titled

The Head And The Heart's debut album kind of snuck up on me - after hearing a song or two a few months ago, it didn't fully hit me until a recent trip to Seattle (the band's hometown).  Since rediscovering it, the record has firmly taken root and earned its place on this list.  Folky, Beatles-esque pop is right in my wheelhouse so it's really no surprise that this makes the list.  The songs reflect the fact that the band is made up of a group of recent transplants to Seattle, touching on themes of exploration, the meaning of home and friendship.  On "Down In The Valley" they "I am on my way back to where I started" as the song builds on a shuffling beat and rolling piano.  One of many beautiful moments on this fantastic, and promising debut album.

The Head And The Heart - Down In The Valley


15. Delta Spirit - History From Below

Delta Spirit's sophomore effort History From Below was a long time coming, and one of my most eagerly-awaited albums of the year.  Following 2007's breakthrough Ode To Sunshine the band toured incessantly, building an increasingly rabid fanbase.  History From Below delivered on all of the expectations - expanding the scope of Matt Vasquez's songwriting and the band's guitar-driven sound.  The album blends social commentary with pure sun-soaked pop, ragged edges with swelling singalong choruses.  Still, the bands live show will blow away every studio cut - but that's more of a testament to their impressive live prowess than any shortcomings of the album.

Delta Spirit - Bushwick Blues


Joe Pug - Messenger

Joe Pug's Nation Of Heat EP was my first introduction to the singer-songwriter and his set at Newport Folk 2009 was one of the highlights of the festival for me - a single man on stage with just a guitar, harmonica and a few great songs.  His full-length debut Messenger features a fuller sound, adding electric guitar, pedal steel and a rhythm section.  His songs of relationships and personal struggles are delivered with the same plainspoken honesty - "How Good You Are" a tribute to his father, "Not So Sure" a reflection on a failed relationship, "Bury Me Far (From My Uniform)" an affecting plea sung from the perspective of a fallen soldier.  Messenger is a fantastic album from an exciting young songwriter - looking forward to hearing a lot more from Joe Pug.

Joe Pug - Messenger



Air Waves + Sharon Van Etten - "Knockout"


Nicole Schneit (Air Waves) and Sharon Van Etten are both Brooklyn-based indie-folk songstresses.  If Sharon Van Etten's moody odes to love and loss are best consumed late at night with a bottle of something strong, Air Waves is the sunnier, happier morning hangover cure.   Van Etten's recently-released Epic is one of our favorite albums of the year so far, and Air Waves' upcoming debut LP Dungeon Dots, out November 30 on Underwater Peoples, is one of our most anticipated releases of the rest of 2010.  Check out a track from Dungeon Dots below.  "Knockout" is a catchy folk-pop should-be-hit that features background vocals from none other than Sharon Van Etten.

Air Waves - Knockout
Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It


Junip + Sharon Van Etten at Royale TONIGHT

Junip, Jose Gonzalez' off-and-on side project is in town tonight supporting their fantastic new record Fields.  If you haven't listened to Fields yet, it comes highly recommended - especially if you like Gonzelez's silky-smooth voice/guitar playing on his solo work.  What's even better is that the supremely talented Sharon Van Etten will be opening for Junip at Royale.  Free tracks from both bands below:

Junip - Always

Sharon Van Etten - Don't Do It

 Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to the show tonight, but I highly recommend checking it out if you can.  Tickets are still available here and at the door.