|Sharon Van Etten ≡ Tramp (2012)|
Sharon Van Etten — Tramp
¶ Her songs were described by the music website Pitchfork Media as having “some echoes of folk tradition but generally in a more personal, introspective space.” NPR Music asserts: “Her songs are heartfelt without being overly earnest; her poetry is plainspoken but not overt, and her elegant voice is wrapped in enough rasp and sorrow to keep from sounding too pure or confident.”
Birth name: Sharon Van Etten
Born: February 26, 1981, New Jersey, United States
Genres: Indie rock, folk
Occupations: Singer, songwriter
Instruments: Vocal, guitar, piano, percussion, omnichord, harmonium
Location: Brooklyn, New York
Album release: February 7, 2012
Record Label: Jagjaguwar
01. "Warsaw" 2:29
02. "Give Out" 4:21
03. "Serpents" 3:04
04. "Kevin's" 4:04
05. "Leonard" 3:50
06. "In Line" 4:46
07. "All I Can" 4:56
08. "We Are Fine" 3:51
09. "Magic Chords" 3:58
10. "Ask" 3:24
11. "I'm Wrong" 3:57
12. "Joke or a Lie" 4:02
Members: Sharon Van Etten, Doug Keith, Heather Woods Broderick, Zeke Hutchins
• Matt Barrick Drums
• Thomas Bartlett Fender Rhodes, Keyboards, Piano
• Julianna Barwick Vocals
• Logan Coale Double Bass
• Zach Condon Vocals
• Dusdin Condren Photography
• Aaron Dessner Engineer, Producer
• Aaron Brooking Dessner Bass, Drum Machine, Drums, Glockenspiel, Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Guitar Feedback, Guitars, Keyboards, Orchestration, Percussion, Piano, Shaker, Slide Guitar
• Bryce Dessner Ebo, Orchestration
• Bryan Devendorf Drums
• Greg Giorgio Mixing
• Clarice Jensen Cello
• Peter Katis Engineer, Mixing
• Doug Keith Bass, Guitar
• Joe Lambert Mastering
• Benjamin Lanz Trombone
• Ben Lord Drums
• Jon Low Engineer, Mixing
• Peter Mavrogeorgis Engineer
• Brian McTear Engineer, Mixing
• Rob Moose Mandolin, Orchestration, Viola, Violin
• Sharon Van Etten Composer, Guitar, Harmonium, Organ, Ukulele, Vocals
• Jenn Wasner Vocals
• Year Chart Peak
• 2012 The Billboard 200 #75
• 2012 Top Heatseekers #15
• 2012 Top Independent Albums #9
• 2012 Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums #14
• 2012 Top Rock Albums #20
Press contact: Jessica Linker /
Reservé agent: Matt Spinner /
• The shimmering sound of Sharon Van Etten’s Jagjaguwar debut album, Tramp, both defies and illuminates the unsteadiness of a life in flux. Throughout the 14 months of scattered recording sessions, Van Etten was without a home — crashing with friends and storing her possessions between varied locations. The only constant in Van Etten's life during this time was spent in Aaron Dessner's garage studio.
• A two year journey brought her to that point of instability. Upon the release of epic (Ba Da Bing; 2010), Sharon Van Etten surprised the music world with a touching embrace. Having established herself as a reliable performer around New York, and coming off the release of her spartan first effort, Because I Was In Love (Language of Stone; 2009), Van Etten created a short album of diverse songs connected by a shared goal of expanded sound and her unmistakable voice. Fans quickly picked favorites, discovered their choices changing, then changing yet again. That is the magic of epic; the intricate, understated record covered so much ground within its 33 minutes, it required more than an initial half hour to absorb. Since epic’s release, she has opened the Pitchfork Music Festival, played The Hollywood Bowl with Neko Case and at Radio City Music Hall with The Antlers, sung on new records for Beirut and Ed Askew, and collaborated with Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Megafaun on the Songs Of The South project.
• Dessner, a member of The National, heard Van Etten early on, and in collaboration with Justin Vernon, performed a cover of "Love More" at the 2010 MusicNow Festival in Cincinnati. Van Etten heard about this and contacted him. Almost immediately they formed plans to work together, with Dessner offering both a location for Van Etten to record new songs, as well as the opinions of a wise producer.
• Now, one year later, Van Etten unveils Tramp, an album showcasing an artist in full control of her powers. Tramp contains as much striking rock (the precise venom of "Serpents," the overwhelming power of "Ask"), as pious, minimal beauty (the earnest solemnity of "All I Can," the breathtaking "Kevins," "Joke or a Lie"); it can be as emotionally combative ("Give Out") as it can sultry ("Magic Chords"). Contributions from Matt Barrick (Walkmen), Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), Zach Condon (Beirut), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), Julianna Barwick, and Dessner himself add a glowing sheen to the already substantial offering.
• Van Etten has traveled far, and if her displacement took an emotional toll, she offset those setbacks with a powerfully articulated vision. And so, once again, each listener will discover their own moments along the way, and the debates as to the best song start anew.
Review by Thom Jurek / Rating: ***½
• When Sharon Van Etten issued the ironically titled seven–song Epic in 2009, it stood in stark contrast to her 2007 debut, Because I Was in Love. On the latter record, she employed a full–on rock band, her songwriting gained a more defined precision, and her singing voice — even at its most vulnerable — seemed to speak with a confidence that didn't seem to need any frame of reference other than its own. Tramp is titled for the period of post–relationship uncertainty and the period of homelessness Van Etten experienced during its 14–month recording process. Produced by the National's Aaron Dessner, who puts the songwriter's fine singing voice front and center, it features guest appearances by Zach Condon, Julianna Barwick, and more. "Warsaw," with its jagged electric guitars, bass, halting keyboards, and primitive, tom–tom heavy drums, is a shambling illustration of what’s to be found here. Van Etten's protagonist is still vulnerable, but she wills herself toward a horizon past it. Likewise, the set's first single "Serpents," with its rumbling guitars and cracking snares, frankly discusses being physically and emotionally abused, but it comes from the other side, her protagonist is out of the situation, refusing to be a victim. Jenn Wassner's backing vocals in every line transform this into an anthem of survival. Not everything here falls down the rock & roll rabbit hole, however. Acoustically driven ballads such as "Kevin's," "All I Can," and "Leonard" highlight her subject's character defects and vulnerabilities as well as those of her significant other's. Van Etten's lyrics accuse as much as they confess and empathize. More often than not, her subject is the one who leaves, rather than the one left; the reasons are myriad: betrayal, co–dependency, a willingness toward an emotional freedom that allows love itself to dictate what it expects. There is great beauty on Tramp, especially in its last third; from the jaunty, acoustic stroll of "We Are Fine" to the multi–textured, nearly psych–pop of "I'm Wrong," to the airy, drifting closer "Joke or a Lie." For all this, Van Etten skirts the edges of giving us a great album without actually delivering one. Perhaps it's the exhaustive, confessional nature of its songs, its reliance on three basic melodic ideas, or even its length. Whatever the reason(s), Tramp doesn’t quite fulfill its considerable promise. But this isn’t a criticism; Van Etten is still a young, developing songwriter who gets more sophisticated with each album. As such, Tramp offers plenty for listeners to enjoy as she goes. (Allmusic.com)
© Photo credit: Dusdin Condren
- Sharon Van Etten Tramp Review by BBC
- Critic Reviews for Tramp. Metacritic. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
- SHARON VAN ETTEN | Tramp at Jagjaguwar's page.
- First Listen: Sharon Van Etten, 'Tramp'. Review at NPR
- New Sharon Van Etten: "Serpents" at Pitchfork Media
|Sharon Van Etten ≡ Tramp (2012)|
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