|Sharon Van Etten — Are We There (2014)|
Sharon Van Etten — Are We There
♦≈♦ Indie folk artist and singer/songwriter with releases on Drag City and Jagjaguwar.
♦≈♦ “But the pleasure is all in the tone, a rich, physically grounded sound that seems to begin somewhere in her legs and to travel up through her body. The effect is not at all stagy — her delivery is a complete articulation of whatever emotion she is feeling in any moment.”
Born: February 26, 1981 in New Jersey
Location: Brooklyn, New York City
Album release: May 26th, 2014 (UK) / May 27th, (US)
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
01 Afraid of Nothing 4:07
02 Taking Chances 3:52
03 Your Love Is Killing Me 6:20
04 Our Love 3:54
05 Tarifa 4:52
06 I Love You But I'm Lost 4:20
07 You Know Me Well 4:33
08 Break Me 4:03
09 Nothing Will Change 3:17
10 I Know 3:37
11 Every Time the Sun Comes Up 4:24
All songs written by Sharon Van Etten
Personnel: Sharon Van Etten, Doug Keith, Heather Woods Broderick, Zeke Hutchins
♦≈♦ Sharon Van Etten follow up 2012's excellent record Tramp with a new one called Are We There, out May 26th through Jagjaguwar. The album was produced with the aid of St. Vincent/Regina Spektor producer Stewart Lerman, but a press release explains that it’s entirely Van Etten’s project. “Sharon has shared an album not only fully–formed and extravagant in sound but also completely self-produced,” it reads. ♦≈♦ “Her writing also continues to explore personal experience drawing from feelings of emptiness, loss, fear of change, desire, waiting, and self–healing.”
♦≈♦ The album was recorded in Weehawken, NJ, and at the storied Electric Lady Studio in New York. Guests include Shearwater leader Jonathan Meiburg, Lower Dens vocalist Jana Hunter, harpist Mary Lattimore and Efterklang touring member Peter Broderick. Throughout, Van Etten is backed by her core band.
♦≈♦ Song titles include “Afraid of Nothing,” “Break Me,” “Your Love Is Killing Me” and “Tarifa,” while the thematic focus is on her on-off relationship of the past eight years and “how beautiful it’s been, and what a struggle it’s been.” The title alludes to how home “has been everywhere” is recently years.
♦≈♦ Mary Lattimore and Efterklang touring member Peter Broderick. Throughout, Van Etten is backed by her core band.
By Alex Hudson
♦≈♦ Having recently joked around with J Mascis by playing dress–up as John Denver, Brooklyn singer–songwriter Sharon Van Etten has returned her focus to more serious business — namely, a new album, which will be out this spring.
♦≈♦ The record is called Are We There?, and NME [via Stereogum/Twitter user Al Horner] reports that it will drop in May. The album was recorded in Weehawken, NJ, and at the storied Electric Lady Studio in New York. Guests include Shearwater leader Jonathan Meiburg, Lower Dens vocalist Jana Hunter, harpist Mary Lattimore and Efterklang touring member Peter Broderick. Throughout, Van Etten is backed by her core band.
♦≈♦ She said of the album, "My writing's getting better and the arrangements are getting weirder, in a good way." There are apparently some R&B-influenced tracks.
♦≈♦ Fan blog F Yeah! Sahron Van Etten (http://fyeahsharonvanetten.tumblr.com/post/64810308251/are-we-there-preview) additionally notes that Dave Harley and Adam Granduciel of the War on Drugs will appear.
♦≈♦ Are We There? will be the follow–up to 2012's Tramp. Fortaken: http://exclaim.ca/
Artist Biography by Andrew Leahey
♦≈♦ Although she was born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Sharon Van Etten's folk music evokes the open landscapes and lonely expanses of Middle America. A dedicated choir student during her childhood, she began writing songs on her guitar as a high school student and, upon moving to New York, started playing them in concert. ♦≈♦ Van Etten signed with the Chicago–based indie label Drag City and issued her intimate, official debut, Because I Was in Love, in spring 2009, followed by the lush, more band-oriented Epic in 2010. Van Etten signed to Jagjaguwar in late 2010 and began working with the National's Aaron Dessner as producer for her third album, Tramp; it was released in early 2012. She returned in 2014 with her fourth studio album, Are We There, which was produced by Van Etten herself with the help of New York-based producer Stewart Lerman.
♦≈♦ 2009 Because I Was In Love (Language Of Stone)
♦≈♦ 2010 Epic (Ba Da Bing Recordings)
♦≈♦ 2012 Tramp (ADA / Jagjaguwar)
♦≈♦ 2014 Are We There (Jagjaguwar)
Press: Jessica Linker / firstname.lastname@example.org
Agent: Matt Spinner / email@example.com
Gen. dir.: Zeke Hutchins: firstname.lastname@example.org
INTERVIEW / our scattered words / Songwriting: In Their Own Words
♦≈♦ For all the attention that was paid to her 2012 break–through Tramp, Sharon Van Etten is an artist with a hunger to turn another corner and to delve deeper, writing from a place of honesty and vulnerability to create a bond with the listener that few contemporary musicians can match. Compelled by a restless spirit, Van Etten is continuously challenging herself. Now, the result is Are We There, a self–produced album of exceptional intimacy, sublime generosity, and immense breadth.
♦≈♦ Most musicians are quite happy to leave the production end of things to someone else. It's enough to live your music without taking on the role of producer as well. Yet Van Etten knew it was time to make a record entirely on her terms. The saying goes "fortune favors the bold" and yet this boldness had to be tempered. For this, Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music producer Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on Boardwalk Empire, they gently moved into new roles, rallying around the idea of making a record together in Lerman's studio in New Jersey. ♦≈♦ Lerman's studio expertise gave Van Etten the freedom to make Are We There the way she imagined. Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins, and brought in friends Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater), Jana Hunter (Lower Dens), Peter Broderick, Mackenzie Scott (Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C. Morris and Mickey Freeze.
♦≈♦ It is clear from the opening chords in the first song, Afraid of Nothing, that we are witnessing a new awareness, a sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing, producing and performing from a place that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct, and never shying away even from the most personally painful narratives, Van Etten's songwriting continues to evolve. Many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation, and then resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost, emptiness, of promises and loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true self, violence and sanctuary, waiting, of silence. The artist who speaks in such a voice is urging us to do something, to take hold and to go deeper. Living in this way, the questions of life remain alive, as close and steady as breathing. Many of the ballads of old are as dark as pitch, and people for whom the issues of life and death were as vivid as flame wrote them. You could turn off the electricity, remove all the instruments and Sharon's voice and words would remain. ♦≈♦ They connect her to the mystic stratum which flows just beneath the everyday, which is rarely acknowledged as the forces of distraction sweep our attention away.
(JAG255 released: 05/27/14)
|Sharon Van Etten — Are We There (2014)|