Sharon Van Etten: Tramp [Album Review]

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Sharon Van Etten
Jagjaguwar Records [2012]

Fire Note Says: Sharon Van Etten will win you over quickly on her new long player Tramp!

Album Review: If there is ever an artist that is on the verge of breaking out I would say that Brooklyn singer/songwriter Sharon Van Etten is close to the top of the list. Her confident siren vocals are the instant focal point on her new record Tramp but her lyrics that cover loneliness, cautiousness around others and an overall sense of uneasiness give the record its depth, cohesiveness and staying power.

Van Etten made a huge production leap from her first to second recording so it should be no surprise that Tramp is her biggest and deepest sounding record yet as it was produced by The National’s Aaron Dessner and now finds her signed to a bigger label with Jagjaguwar. By no means has she “sold out” though as the backbone of Tramp is the same torch that has brightened each of her releases.

First single “Serpents” is one of the most musically enhanced tracks Van Etten has released as The Walkmen drummer Matt Barrick keeps a noticeable strong beat and the guitars swirl around behind her. This track is a great extension of her emotions that really works but her bread and butter is still in the slower to mid paced burning tracks that get in your head like her battle against social anxiety in the strumming “We Are Fine” that features Zach Condon (Beriut) taking on a verse and supporting harmonies as well as the flowing and building “Leonard”.

Not sure if Tramp will be the home run yet for Sharon Van Etten to become a household name but the record has a superb replay value and most certainly has everything moving in the right direction for a bigger audience. Considering Van Etten is still very early in her career there is still plenty of time for people to catch on as Tramp once again showcases her creativity and ensures a potential longevity in a music business that can be fickle unless you are this talented!

Key Tracks: “Serpents”, “We Are Fine”, “Leonard”

Artists With Similar Fire: Beth Orton / Kathleen Edwards / Cat Power

Sharon Van Etten Website
Sharon Van Etten Facebook
Jagjaguwar Records

-Reviewed by Christopher Anthony

Christopher Anthony

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