Review: Sharon Van Etten – “Are We There”


Sharon Van Etten
Are We There

Jagjaguwar – May 27th 2014
By Joshua Khan (@blaremag)
Find it at: iTunes | Insound | Official Store



Much like Jesy Fortino and Chan Marshall, Brooklyn’s Sharon Van Etten lets her visitation with memories distinguish her glacially pretty love songs. It’s just these compositions aren’t familiar with fairy-tale endings. Are We There sides with Tramp‘s view of a hollow romance and through confessional one-takes, it browses through faded dispatches of an infected relationship only to say “sorry” before a freight train of emotion slams into you. The impact is deafening – and you can thank an outspoken lyric sheet for that – but the sheer force of it derives from Van Etten’s vocal range which becomes entangled with gutsy ballad dust-ups (“Afraid Of Nothing”, “I Know”) and softly-painted blues affairs (“Tarifa”, “You Know Me Well”) that dig into the feeling of being ripped apart. She’s seen hell, felt broken, and been forced to “wait shit out”, yet her voice remains raw and unfazed – two traits that allow Are We There to take flight.

Listen: “Tarifa”, “Our Love”, “You Know Me Well”, “Taking Chances” || Watch: “Every Time The Sun Comes Up”

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