Looking Forward: Sharon Van Etten’s Tramp

I’ve quickly and deeply fallen in love with Sharon Van Etten’s album, Tramp, to be released by Jagjaguwar on February 7th. My review is scheduled to appear in our March issue, but I’ll tell you now that this is an album worth owning and playing again and again.

Van Etten’s voice is strong and provocative, her phrasing clever and compelling, the mood she conjures reminiscent of Chan Marshall’s early passion and longing, but more urgent, more dangerous. Van Etten sounds as though she’s been through some difficult, unhappy things, but has freed herself; she’s aware of her sadness, yet determined not only to live, but to enjoy life.

(All of the above should come as no surprise: Van Etten is a Jersey girl.)

The music follows suit and sounds similarly alive. Tramp was produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner and recorded at his garage studio. Collaborators include Dessner (slide guitar, bass), The Walkmen’s Matt Barrick (drums), Doveman’s Thomas Bartlett (keys), Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, and Julianna Barwick. Listen to “Serpents” here.

Van Etten will perform with The National on Tuesday, December 13th, at the Beacon Theater in NYC before hitting the road with Shearwater in February and with The War on Drugs in March. I plan to attend the February 25th show at the Bowery Ballroom. See you there.

Devil Doc's picture

I fell in love with Maria Mudaur's voice way back in '73.


Stephen Mejias's picture

I own her 1973 debut album.  Good stuff.  Good sound, too.