Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Beautiful music from Brooklyn

Sharon Van EttenLaura Marling, Lissie, Florence, Sarah McLachlan, Cat Power, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Thea Gilmore, Sarah Blasko, Emiliana Torrini, KT Tunstall, Suzanne Vega. If things continue the way they are, we'll have to create an international surplus mountain for female singer-songwriters (and a pyre for their winsomely strummed acoustic guitars).

But before we run out of space, spare a moment to listen to Sharon Van Etten.

Hailing from Brooklyn, via Tennessee, the singer describes her sound as "sad prairie folk music". Her last album, I Wish I Knew, was hushed with quiet beauty. The follow-up, Epic, lives up to its name with an expanded, full band sound. It still manages to be intimate, and the delicately tortured lyrics will haunt the sleep anyone with a melancholy disposition. Truly an album to snuggle up against as the winter nights draw in.

I particularly love an album track called Don't Do It, which Pitchfork recently described as representing "a plea at first but, as she repeats the chorus, it sounds more like an ultimatum". It made my spine tingle.

Sharon Van Etten - Epic

The album came out last week on the brilliantly-named Ba Da Bing label. You can buy it now on Amazon

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