Friday, February 5th, 2010

Much More Than That

Review of Sharon Van Etten’s Because I Was In Love

Photo By Michael PalmieriMichael PalmieriWhen I wrote up Sharon Van Etten’s debut album Because I Was In Love back in October, I felt a bit bad about giving it just a passing mention as I liked it more than just a sentence or two might have implied. But at the time my web hosting was self-destructing and I wanted to get something out there before her local appearance opening for Rain Machine, so a cursory mention it was.

But with there seeming to be even more attention being paid to Van Etten and her record now than when it was initially released back in May 2009, now’s as good a time as any to revisit the album and, at the very least, elaborate a bit more on why it’s worthy of notice – and in a word, it’s the voice. Slow, rich and seemingly operating at the resonant frequency of melancholy and with the texture of tears, it’s the perfect vehicle for her spare, almost skeletal songs of longing and disappointment, transporting them directly through the ears and into the heart. That might seem a bit flowery a description, but I defy you to listen to the “ooohs” in “Much More Than This” and tell me otherwise. That voice, with the languid, low-key acoustic atmosphere and strategically-placed bits of electric guitar and piano make for a record that’s worth revisiting again not only a few months later, but again and again.

Blurt has a feature piece on Van Etten and Weather Vane Music has a stunning new song recorded for their Shaking Through series available to download. Sharon Van Etten opens up the sold out Great Lake Swimmers show at Trinity-St. Paul’s tomorrow night and returns on April 5 for a show at the Horseshoe with Megafaun.

MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MP3: Sharon Van Etten – “Love More”
Video: Sharon Van Etten – “For You”
MySpace: Sharon Van Etten

The Skinny discusses Shearwater’s new record The Golden Archipelago with frontman Jonathan Meiburg. The record is out February 23, they play Lee’s Palace on April 1.

Midlake’s Eric Pulido talks to The Quietus about coffee while his bandmates discuss their music with BBC6 and The Independent.

Spoon are using a live studio performance for the first video off Transference. They’re at the Sound Academy on March 29.

Video: Spoon – “Written In Reverse”

PitchforkTV has padded out their special video series with Beach House with a few more songs and The Chronicle-Herald and New York Magazine have interviews. They’re at the Opera House on March 30.

A Sunny Day In Glasgow have put out a new video from their forthcoming Nighttime Rainbows EP, out March 2. They play The Garrison on April 2.

Video: A Sunny Day In Glasgow – “So Bloody, So Tight”

Beatroute, North County Times and The Georgia Straight talk to St. Vincent, who just released a new video/comedy sketch from Actor, featuring the thespian skills of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, also known as ThunderAnt.

Video: St. Vincent – “Laughing With A Mouth Of Blood”

Paste has got a video session with Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea.

BeatRoute talks to Nels Cline of Wilco.

MusicOmn, The Line Of Best Fit, Montreal Mirror, Montreal Gazette, The Advocate, CBC, eye and NOW have conversations with Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, who are in town at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Monday night. There’s also an official trailer up for Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & The Magnetic Fields, the forthcoming documentary film on the band, and an MP3 from the 69 Love Songs vinyl box set, coming out on April 20. And for folks in Toronto looking to pick this up, Criminal Records has got your best deal as far as pre-orders of the limited edition go.

MP3: The Magnetic Fields – “The Book Of Love”
Trailer: Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & The Magnetic Fields

Paste gets some info on She & Him’s Volume Two, out March 23, from Zooey Deschanel.

Good news for Toronto roots-rock fans – in addition to their free show at the Horseshoe this coming Tuesday night, Those Darlins have slated a return engagement on April 6 at the same venue with Deer Tick. Bad news is that’s the same night as the Drive-By Truckers’ gig at Lee’s Palace. Good news is that the Truckers are doing a second night at the same venu on the 7th. Unless you were planning on hitting both, in which case I think you break about even.

MP3: Deer Tick – “Easy”
MP3: Those Darlins – “Red Light Live”

Speaking of the Drive-By Truckers, Billboard talks to frontman Patterson Hood about their new record The Big To-Do, which will be out March 16.

The Jon Spencer-powered Heavy Trash have a date at the Horseshoe on April 23. Their latest Midnight Soul Serenade came out last year.

By : Frank Yang at 8:30 am
Category: General

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RSS Feed for this post2 Responses.
  1. Jon B says:

    Server issues should never get in the way of SVE!! Finally someone can sing and write songs—imagine! She’s a breath of fresh air…

  2. Review of Sharon Van Etten’s Epic | MP3 Music at MixBurner says:

    […] hard to reconcile Sharon Van Etten with the exquisitely sad character who crafted her gorgeous debut album Because I Was In Love. On stage and in person, she’s a friendly and outgoing young woman who […]