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Sharon Van Etten stuns a sold-out Union Transfer, covers Sinead O’Connor on night two of tour

Sharon Van Etten | photo by Rachel Barrish for WXPN

Sharon Van Etten‘s new album Remind Me Tomorrow is a different direction for the singer-songwriter: futuristic and spacey synths colliding with her one-of-a-kind voice and old-school style. Her stop in Philly at Union Transfer explored all of this. Van Etten’s set on Thursday felt like a new awakening for the artist, who had taken a long break from touring after her previous album, Are We There. The energy from the stage was palpable, and the crowd was electrified by the band’s performance and Van Etten’s gripping presence. With it being only night two of eighteen, there are still kinks to be worked out, but they were far outweighed by the sheer star power Van Etten brings to her live show. Continue reading →

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The Week Ahead: Sharon Van Etten, Bartees Strange, Herbie Hancock, The Winter Doldrums Concert and more

Herbie Hancock | via The Kimmel Center

This week in the XPN listening area, you can catch shows from legends as easily as fresh faces, nationally acclaimed artists as much as local sensations. Add in the usual mix of genres, from singer-songwriter to jazz to rock and pop, and there’s not a lot of reason to stay home. Here are twelve concerts to see in the next seven days in and around Philadelphia.
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Revisiting the road to Tomorrow with Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten | photo courtesy of the artist

Sharon Van Etten makes me feel like I don’t do anything.

In the five years since her 2014 opus Are We There alone, it would be hard to find something she hasn’t done. In addition to touring behind that album, she performed and collaborated with countless other artists. She started scoring films. She branched out into acting and appeared on some of the buzziest cult television shows of the era. She even started pursuing her degree in Psychology. On top of all of that, she settled into a long-term relationship and became a parent. Oh yeah, and she wrote and recorded her latest masterpiece, the soaring, sobering Remind Me Tomorrow. Just typing all of that out makes me want to go back to bed, but Van Etten sounds as energized and dynamic as ever. While this album’s songs aren’t about these life events and achievements, specifically, they do accurately convey the emotions and perspective shifts that came with them. It’s a meditation on what it’s like to be happy during unhappy times, and how important and challenging it is to stay happy.

Ahead of next week’s performance at Union Transfer, Sharon was gracious enough to have a long chat with me about everything that’s been going on in the years leading up to Tomorrow, the work and influences that went into it, and how she stays grounded and positive through everything going on around us. Continue reading →

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Watch Sharon Van Etten debut “You Shadow” on live Jimmy Kimmel Live

Sharon Van Etten on Jimmy Kimmel Live | Still from youtube video

Consider this your reminder – Sharon Van Etten‘s new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, is out… tomorrow!  Ahead of the release, she had the opportunity to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night, performing the albums third single, “Seventeen”. Afterward, die-hard fans quickly discovered a bonus performance video on the web of “You Shadow”, a previously unreleased song with a laid back beat, gritty guitars, and a church organ driving throughout. Continue reading →

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Sharon Van Etten’s new video for “Seventeen” will destroy you

Sharon Van Etten | photo courtesy of the artist

“You think you know something. You don’t.”

Singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten is in conversation with her younger self on the latest teaser of her hotly anticipated new record Remind Me Tomorrow. “Seventeen” rides a fervent kick drum pulse and juxtaposes moving piano chords and steady guitar strums with synthesizer squalor that becomes more intense as the song progresses, leaving listners gutted and breathless at the end.

On the one hand, the song and its music video comprise a love letter to New York City, where Van Etten has lived for the past 15 years. It celebrates the New York City that opened up a world of possibilities for a young creative woman from New Jersey, the New York City that shaped her personally and artistically, and the New York City that is gone to the ages. Continue reading →

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Sharon Van Etten reflects on younger selves in ‘Comeback Kid’ video

Sharon Van Etten | still from “Comeback Kid” official music video.

“Comeback Kid” is the first single from Sharon Van Etten’s new album, Remind Me Tomorrow, out January 18th. The song acknowledges her temporary respite from performing–in that lull she was busy creating music, going to school and becoming a mother. The music video, directed by Jonathan Turner, reveals a tougher side to the indie singer, her eyes smokey and hair deliberately tousled. Projections of Sharon’s younger selves play out on the rippled wall behind her, fuzzy candids and fisheye self-portraits, a traipse into the past.  Continue reading →

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Michael Cera and Sharon Van Etten shot a video in … Glenside?

Sharon Van Etten | Photo by Cameron Pollack

If you watch the upcoming documentary film DINA, some local sights may catch your eye. The film is billed as a “real-life romantic comedy” and follows the events and experiences of suburban PA couple Dina Buno and Scott Levin, who both face the challenges of being in a relationship while living with mental disabilities. The film won awards at Sundance, but since it doesn’t premiere until Oct. 6, we didn’t know a ton about it other than that basic premise. But, a few days ago, a welcome surprise appeared in the form of a Michael Cera + Sharon Van Etten collab. The song “Best I Can,” from the film’s soundtrack, comes with a video featuring the film’s cast and was shot right in our neck of the woods — the suburbs of Glenside, Jenkintown, West Chester and Springfield are among the locations used. Continue reading →

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Hear Sharon Van Etten take on a country classic with her cover of “The End of the World”

Sharon van Etten | via the artist's Facebook page
Sharon Van Etten | via the artist’s Facebook page

It’s been a few years since Sharon Van Etten’s last proper release, but in the interim, she’s been keeping busy scoring films and covering the Squidbillies theme. Now, she’s taking on Skeeter Davis’ classic country tune “The End of the World” for Resistance Radio: The Man In The High Castle Album. Inspired by the Amazon-produced television show of the same name, the record features a star-studded track list that also includes covers from The Shins , Angel Olsen, Andrew VanWyngarden of MGMT, and more. Van Etten leaves the arrangement largely untouched in her take on the song, regonizing that a melody this beautiful only needs a beautiful voice to sing it. If you need me, I’ll be weeping softly next to the vintage gramaphone I inexplicably just found in my basement. Stream the track below. Continue reading →