Sharon Van Etten set for Glasgow gig
Emotional indie rocker is finally making it big after success of album Are We There
Although she’s four albums into a five-year recording career and the last of those records was released a full six months ago, it feels as though New Jersey’s Sharon Van Etten has never been more popular. You sense that she’s another slow-burn artists who grafts in obscurity for a number of years, and when she hits, she hits slowly, and sinks deep. It’s no surprise that among her friends in her current home of Brooklyn, she counts fellow purveyors of hard-won majesty, The National. Nick Cave is also a fan.
That record Are We There, released on Jagjaguwar in May, is a typically simmering beauty, and we’d stick our necks out by saying it’ll be near the top of many end-of-year charts. Mixing easygoing but emotionally intense MOR indie-rock with apparently nakedly autobiographical, country-tinged balladeering, it’s a direct descendent of Cat Power in its sound and scope. Moments of heavy emotional resonance are many, including ‘Your Love is Killing Me’ with its hollowed-out, last-legs grandeur and ‘Even When the Sun Comes Up’, an eloquently faded hymn from the depths of a morning after.
On both sides of the Atlantic Are We There was a modest top 30 hit, several steps up from her National-featuring previous record Tramp in 2012. That and some tasty television appearances give some idea of her trajectory. But it’s only in soaking up and growing to love her work – darkly driven by semi-autobiographical tales of abusive love, self-abuse and excess, it’s been reported, but framed by a warm hope – that Van Etten’s raw femininity and ready-to-be-realised potential will ring true.
The Art School, Glasgow, Tue 25 Nov.