Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”
November 27, 2011, 5:05 pm
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Sharon Van Etten’s last album, 2009’s Epic, became a recent favorite of mine not all at once in a flurry of massive hooks and choruses but as a slow-burning reveal that crept up and took hold of me without notice.  Epic‘s downcast, muscular folk-rock is not far removed from bands like The National and Bon Iver (both of whom she counts as fans/friends).  Fittingly, her forthcoming new LP, Tramp, was recorded with The National’s Aaron Dessner in his home studio.  He also performed on the album along with his brother/fellow National member Bryce Dessner, The Walkmen’s Matt Barrick, Julianna Barwick, Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner, Beirut’s Zach Condon and Doveman’s Thomas Bartlett.  Barrick’s booming backbeat and the Dessners’ winding, twilit guitars are immediately noticeable on Tramp‘s first single “Serpents” and they effectively emphasize the “rock” in Van Etten’s folk-rock.  Not surprisingly, “Serpents” and the rest of Tramp‘s ambitious arrangements/production sink in quicker than her previous output which should help make Tramp the breakthrough Van Etten deserves.

Tramp is out 2/7 via Jagjaguwar.

Download MP3: “Serpents”

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