|photo credit: Dusdin Condren|
Sharon van Etten plays Mr. Smalls Thursday, June 19, in support of her new album, Are We There, which comes out May 27 on Jagjaguawar (Bon Iver, Dinosaur Jr., Foxygen).
Sharon van Etten launched into the indie rock mainstream in 2012 with the beautiful Tramp, though some may remember her for her ballad "Love More," released two years prior on her second album, Epic.
If her new single, "Taking Chances," is any indication, van Etten's sound continues to evolve. The charging folk rock has given way to a stripped down, downtempo sound. A solitary drumbeat and synth pulse are all that exist to punctuate her voice, until a guitar comes along to lift up the chorus. It's not quite The XX, and there's still the trademark van Etten harmony, but it's definitely unlike anything else she's put out so far. Listen to it here:
The New Yorker profiled van Etten in one of their most recent issues. Their pop music critic, Sasha Frere-Jones, called the new album "astonishing," and says this about the songs: "[they] are slow-moving, efficient vehicles that carry the listener through stages of a long-running and complex romance, which Van Etten seems both to live on and to be trapped in. They tend toward emotional distillation, and are often too intense to admit anything beyond her expansive voice and a single instrument."
SVE played Pittsburgh in 2012, in support of Tramp. You can read about the performance, and watch some video from it, in our review.
Tickets to this all-ages show cost $16 and are available via Ticketweb. Or, if you're feeling lucky, we have a pair of tickets to give away. To enter, simply email us your name to pghmusicreport [at] gmail .com, with "Sharon van Etten" in the subject line. We'll announce a winner next week.
Experimental singer/songwriter Jana Hunter, of Lower Dens, opens. That band played Brillobox in 2010, opening for Bear in Heaven.
– B. Conway