Sharon Van Etten’s Darkest Corners of Love

Sharon Van Etten’s Darkest Corners of Love

I​n 2014, singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten released her 4th studio release to date, Are We There. The question mark was intentionally left out; as she put it, “…It’s o​pen­-ended, I ask myself that question all the time.” The record documented what must have been the heartbreak of a lifetime. And with that pain she has transitioned it into an incredible work of artistry.

We have all had our heartbreaks, and we have all had a million words to say. Though once it is all laid out, spread across the impossible spectrum of timing and possibilities, we get no closer to closure, no closer to the question, “is this all it could have ever been.” Her records are an ark of detailed information of encounters, nights spent alone, and all the emotions in between. Unlike most popular love songs, radio friendly for the masses, Etten takes her expression to a whole new level of production and questions. One of my favorite lines of hers is “I know myself better than you do” off the closing track to her new EP, I Don’t Want To Let You Down. The boldness is contagious in the air, as you sit on the floor of an empty room once full, coming to the realization that you know better than anyone else could.

These 4 tracks are the leftover songs from her previous record Are We There, and at the end of it all you find that maybe after 4 records, she has sung her last note on the matter. The question is now is she ready to push away, and has she arrived at her next beginning as a songwriter? Even as a lover? Only time will tell, but I am incredibly thankful that there are still artists out there ready to be naked in front of the world. Let it all be heard and shown, and by doing so we all feel just a little less alone, and little more understood.

 

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