Tag Archives: Sharon Van Etten

New Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen: Like I Used To

Video: Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen – “Like I Used To”

Directed by Kimberly Stuckwisch. Single out now on Jagjaguwar.

Phil Spector is dead. Long live the Wall of Sound.

Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen are no strangers to large-scale, cinematic soundscapes that connect emotionally. It makes sense that they would collaborate. And the results do not disappoint.

Sleepin’ in late like I used to
Crossing my fingers like I used to
Waiting inside like I used to
Avoiding big crowds like I used to.

It’s easy to read everything these days in light of quarantines and pandemics, or maybe — just maybe — isolation and fear and longing have always ripe subjects for lyrics. Anyway, hopefully someday sooner than later we’ll all be getting back to doing things a little more like we used to.

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Deep Sea Diver – Impossible Weight (ft. Sharon Van Etten)

Video: Deep Sea Diver – “Impossible Weight” (ft. Sharon Van Etten)

Directed by Jessica Dobson, Peter Mansen, Tyler Kalberg. From Impossible Weight, out October 16th on ATO.

I saw Deep Sea Diver open up for Wilco back in November, which was the last concert I went to before covid, unless I’m forgetting something, which I totally could be, because this fucking pandemic has obliterated any real sense of time or memory. I would’ve sworn that show was at least three years ago but nope.

And you can hear that maybe a little bit of the headliner rubbed off onto this new song with its swirling chimes and its verses that assassin down the avenue.

But that was then and this is now
I tried so hard not to let you all down
It’s an impossible weight
So I’ll just let you down now

When I was 14 I got into the Monkees when MTV started showing the reruns. Riding the success of that revival, Clive Davis of Arista Records convinced Micky and Peter to a record a few songs for a new hits compilation. “That Was Then, This Is Now” debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 5, 1986, peaked at No. 20, and stayed on the chart for 14 weeks. I turned 15 during its reign and I loved it. The album, Then & Now…The Best of the Monkees, stayed on the Billboard 200 for 34 weeks. I played the cassette nonstop.

In not too long I would start to pick up the original albums at garage sales and the Rhino reissues at record stores. My copy of Headquarters had a crack (not a scratch, a crack) that went all the way through, but if I lined it up just right it would still play.

None of that really has anything to do with Deep Sea Diver, but if you’re going to have a chorus that says “that was then and this is now” then you’re going to get a Monkees story out of me and that’s just the way it is.

Oh and also: Sharon Van Etten rules.

Deep Sea Diver: web, twitter, bandcamp, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Deep Sea Diver – Impossible Weight (ft. Sharon Van Etten)

New Sharon Van Etten video: Beaten Down

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Beaten Down”

Directed by Nicky and Juliana Giraffe. Single out now on Jagjaguwar.

Gee, has it really been a year already since Remind Me Tomorrow was released? That album’s “Seventeen” still kills me, especially as I deal with parenting a teenager and all the shit that goes along with that. And I think back to the decisions I made when I was my kid’s age and how they continue to affect my life. It’s terrifying.

Sharon Van Etten’s got a new single out now and she says, “This song is about love, patience and empathy. It’s about making life-changing choices and remaining strong enough to see them through.”

Life has a tendency to beat you down. It’s not easy to maintain love, patience and empathy in this world. But it’s important to try.

Your big old heart takes a lot on
Shoulders the world
It takes a lot to unfold

I encourage my son to be kind, honest and hardworking. I’m not sure if that’ll help him make it through life without getting beaten down, but I hope so.

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Sharon Van Etten video: No One’s Easy To Love

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “No One’s Easy To Love”

Directed by Katherine Dieckmann. From Remind Me Tomorrow, out now on Jagjaguwar.

I don’t know where she is or where she’s going, but Sharon Van Etten is a boss. How do I know? She walks with great authority. And you can’t be a boss without some authority. New single, “No One’s Easy To Love” is a clear statement of authority in relationships. Not that Sharon has all the answers–that’s not what authority or expertise imply. It’s that she has the experience and insight to speak to the complications that make up our closest connections.

I mean, the title itself is an authoritative statement. No one is easy to love. Humans have faults and flaws and they’re unique to each of us, which means they can be baffling to others. I have a very annoying habit of identifying and highlighting vocal inflections and regional accents. For example, many of my in-laws pronounce words that start with “un” as a prefix as “on.” They say things like “ONusual” or “ONcomfortable.” I notice it every single time. How annoying of me. I am not easy to love. And neither are you. The boss said so.

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Sharon Van Etten video: Seventeen

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Seventeen”

Directed by Maureen Towey. From Remind Me Tomorrow, out January 18 on Jagjaguwar.

Wow. This is a powerful song and an intense video. On its surface it’s another song — like “Comeback Kid” — about looking back at your younger self. But it’s easy to imagine this being sung from the perspective of a parent to their snotty teenager.

Now you’re a hotshot
Think you’re so carefree
But you’re just seventeen
So much like me

Until I had a kid I never really appreciated the shit my poor mom dealt with to raise me. I realize that individuation is an essential part of human development but I regret having been such a dick to her as an adolescent (and beyond).

There’s a scene in the “Seventeen” video that breaks my heart: where young Sharon Van Etten runs up to get under current Sharon Van Etten’s umbrella. It’s a perfect snapshot of how kids still need the comfort and protection of their parents, even after they no longer think they want it.

My own kid is a tweener now and I know our days are numbered. He’s already pushing away in various frustrating ways. I think I’m afraid that he’ll be just like me. Hopefully he’s nicer to his mom than I was at least.

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

New Sharon Van Etten video: Jupiter 4

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Jupiter 4”

Directed by Katherine Dieckmann. From Remind Me Tomorrow, due January 18 on Jagjaguwar.

This song was originally written by Sharon Van Etten and given to Donna Missal, who recorded it and said, “The title of the song comes from the demo – originally titled Jupiter because the main synth sound that you hear driving the instrumental was recorded on a Jupiter synth.”

Van Etten’s version is a little slower and moodier than Missal’s. It captures the desperation of falling in love.

I’ve been waiting, waiting, waiting my whole life
For someone like you
It’s true that everyone would like to have met
A love so real.

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.

Continue reading New Sharon Van Etten video: Jupiter 4

New Sharon Van Etten video: Comeback Kid

Video: Sharon Van Etten – “Comeback Kid”

Directed by Jonathan William Turner. From Remind Me Tomorrow, due January 18 on Jagjaguwar.

Growing up is weird. There comes a point where you barely recognize the person you used to be. It’s easy to be dismissive of your former self’s personality and character by claiming immaturity. But if you think back, it didn’t feel that way at the time. You were a fully formed human being as a teenager. But as you get older you change. Experiences and education affect the way you think and feel about things. And age wreaks havoc on your physical appearance. You’re different than you used to be. Are you the same person? Sure, partially. But not 100%. And that’s weird, isn’t it?

Haven’t we all dreamed of going back in time and having a conversation with our 16-year-old self?

Sharon Van Etten gets this.

Come back, kid!
Let me look at you!

She says, “As the lyrics for ‘Comeback Kid’ unfolded, I realized I was talking about many selves: the kid, the adult, the sibling, the friend, the neighbor. I imagined a projector streaming over me of memories, unclear if they are mine or someone else’s, confronted by the disorientation of time and perspective. Jonathan William Turner helped me to convey these struggles of self, forgiveness, and living in the now.”

She told NPR, “Believe it or not, ‘Comeback Kid’ started off as a piano ballad. My homage to Bruce Springsteen, talking about formative years. It is talking about my young adult years, when I returned home in my early 20s after having an early crisis. My family took me in with open arms, nursed me back to health. I tried to explain all the complicated relationships with returning home and the many selves you face, the kid that never goes away, but strives to be the independent adult. I feel like this song encompasses my influences from past and present, as well as represents a moment in time that changed my life and helped me move on to be who I am today. It is complex and sometimes hard to face, but I face it and I’m stronger now. And as I look at my son, I hope he knows he can always turn to me, too.”

The director says, “The visuals draw from Sharon’s personal archive of photos and videos as the narrative of the song looks back on her past. The elements are then reactivated by an undercurrent of abstract animations. These sequences are also used to frame and obscure her performance, suggesting the fractured identity of someone looking at their past, but also confidently facing the future. Sharon is both audience and projectionist of her memories.”

Sharon Van Etten: web, twitter, amazon, apple, spotify, wiki.