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Watch Sharon Van Etten’s new video for “Taking Chances”

Photo by Dusdin Condre
Photo by Dusdin Condre

Sharon Van Etten has shared the video for her song “Taking Chances” from her forthcoming album, Are We There, out May 27th on Jagjaguwar. The video was inspired by film director Agnès Varda, and her 1962 film, Cleo from 5 to 7, about a French singer who wanders around Paris between 5-7PM waiting for the results of a potentially life changing medical test. The “Taking Chances” video was written, shot and directed by director Michael Palmieri. Sharon plays in Philly on June 18th at Union Transfer. Below, watch the video, and download the song.

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Download a new song by Sharon Van Etten, “Taking Chances”

Photo by Dusdin Condren
Photo by Dusdin Condren
Sharon Van Etten releases her new album, Are We There, on May 27th on Jagjaguwar Records. She plays in Philly on June 18th at Union Transfer. Are We There is Sharon’s first new album since 2012′s Tramp, features guest contributions from Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs, Jonathan Meiberg from Shearwater, Jana Hunter of Lower Dens, and Sharon’s band Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins. Soulful and sad, more slow burning than slow, the new song “Taking Chances” finds Van Etten sounding sharper and clearer than ever. Warm electric piano and echoey, plinky guitars open the song, then Van Etten takes over, her vocals ascending as the guitars get louder and she digs into the hooky melody. Below, download “Taking Chances.”

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Sharon Van Etten puts an R&B spin on her sound in “Taking Chances”

Sharon Van Etten | photo by Dusdin Condren
Sharon Van Etten | photo by Dusdin Condren

Sharon Van Etten has debuted the first single from her upcoming LP Are We There ahead of its release on May 27th.  Pulsating and gliding, “Taking Chances” puts a slight R&B spin on the Brooklyn musician’s indie rock style.  Syncopated synths open the track before Van Etten’s ethereal vocals fall in from above, intimately remembering a time when she took a risk on a relationship.  In the darkness of the track, the New Jersey native (who took over co-production for this record) evokes her signature mood of observation and confession that was so powerful on her last LP Tramp.  Listen to “Taking Chances” below.   Tickets and information for Sharon Van Etten’s June 18th show at Union Transfer can be found here.

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Just Announced: Sharon Van Etten to release new LP Are We There, plays Union Transfer on 6/18

Sharon Van Etten | photo by Dusdin Condren
Sharon Van Etten | photo by Dusdin Condren

Brooklyn singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten will follow up her 2012 breakthrough record Tramp with a new LP called Are We There, set for release on May 27th through Jagjaguwar.  Tramp set a high bar for Van Etten, displaying a talent for drawing on difficult emotional situations with an eagerness and perspective that let the audience learn and grow alongside the New Jersey native.  

With Are We There, Van Etten expanded her songwriting abilities by taking over the role of producer as well:

It is clear from Are We There‘s opening chords,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 from even 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.

Sharon Van Etten brings Are We There to Union Transfer on June 18th; tickets and information will be available here.  Watch the trailer for Are We There below.

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Photos: The Walkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, Spank Rock and more played Union Transfer to raise money for The Rail Park

The Walkmen | Photo by Matthew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.com
The Walkmen | Photo by Matthew Shaver | www.mattshaverphoto.com

Lest it be overlooked amid all the (well-deserved) attention paid to their final show, The Walkmen were just one of about nine acts on the stage at Union Transfer last Wednesday, from Spank Rock to Sun Ra Arkestra, all of who performed to benefit the first phase of The Rail Park. In case you weren’t aware, the project is a planned 3-mile linear park and recreation path along the former Philadelphia and Reading rail line, spanning some 50 city blocks and running through a diverse cross-section of neighborhoods. Organizers at The Rail Park were elated in the wake of the event, posting to their Facebook page:

We are still on cloud nine after Wednesday’s Rail Park fundraiser at Union Transfer. What a way to wrap up an incredible year for this project! Our deepest thanks and appreciation to all who helped organize the event, who brought their talents to the evening, and who came out in support of the project.

For more information on The Rail Park, watch a short video after the jump; below, check out a gallery of photos from the benefit, which also included Light Heat, Sharon Van Etten collaborating with Adam Granduciel of War on Drugs and Birdie Busch.

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The Walkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sharon Van Etten, Spank Rock and others playing Rail Park Benefit at Union Transfer on 12/4

FOTRP_map
The Walkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sharon Van Etten, Spank Rock, Light Heat, Jeff Ziegler and Mary Lattimore, Birdie Busch, and the Dufalo Brothers are playing Union Transfer on Wednesday, December 4th. The show is a benefit for Phase One of the Rail Park with all the proceeds going to the Friends of the Rail Park, a non-profit that has been advocating the planning, designing and envisioning of a continuous 3-mile linear park along the former Philadelphia & Reading Rail line corridor. Friends of the Rail Park outlined their vision and plans last Spring, outlined in this article about it in Hidden City Philadelphia. Nathaniel Popkin writes:

The proposed park meets the elevated Reading Viaduct just east of and directly below Broad Street at the section of the railway known as the SEPTA Spur. The 1/5 mile long, elevated Spur–which will undergo an $8 million transformation into a park beginning in 2014–together with the City Branch, which is also owned predominantly by SEPTA, would constitute a two mile long linear rails-to-trails park, connecting the Callowhill neighborhood to Fairmount Park. The rest of the railroad viaduct heading north from the SEPTA Spur is owned by the Reading Corporation. The firm, based in California, has demonstrated little interest in selling the Viaduct to the City of Philadelphia.

The new below-grade park would extend from two points at the east end: the connection to the SEPTA Spur, where the rail viaduct dips under Broad Street (which is a bridge over the railway) and at Broad and Buttonwood in front of the School District Administration building. A key to the plan is the planned reconstruction of the Broad Street bridge, owned by PennDOT. Planners hope to convince the agency to install see-through railings and to puncture the bridge with light towers that are to be installed in the center of North Broad (lighting the space above and below). The parking lot now in front of the School District building would be replaced with a multi-level public space leading to the park.

Take a tour of the proposed Rail Park in this video below.

Get tickets to the Friends of the Rail Park benefit with The Walkmen, Sun Ra Arkestra, Sharon Van Etten, Spank Rock, Light Heat, Jeff Ziegler, Mary Lattimore, Birdie Busch and the Dufalo Brothers here.

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song Of The Week: Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater cover “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”

Shearwater-Sharon_RSD This week’s Gotta Hear Song of The Week is a cover of Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty duet, “Stop Draggin’My Heart Around,” by singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten and the Austin band Shearwater. The cover was released for Record Store Day this past Saturday on Sub Pop Records as a special limited edition 7-inch single. It was originally recorded for the A.V. Club Undercover video series.


Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater cover “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”