Sharon Van Etten
doesn't sing sad songs, she makes truly moving music. In 2014 she has finally broken the surface of the dark indie music pools—still water where many artists tread for dear life or simply drown—this past year with the release of her casually harrowing masterpiece lite, Are We There
. I only call the record a masterpiece lite, because it's clear Van Etten is still just warming up. This masterpiece — and it is a masterpiece, highly charged, and miraculously not stifled by the emotional violence of it's content — is an exceptional sketch of her Sistine Chapel.
The recently released video for "Your Love Is Killing Me,"
Van Etten's high octane confessional march, has been hailed by Rolling Stone as on of 2014's top songs, and the gravely playful video was directed by Sean Durkin (Martha Marcy May Marlene). While Van Etten's notable success is a product of 2014, the raw talent that silences rooms is not a newly acquired skill. We met Sharon Van Etten in 2009, shortly after her official debut Because I Was In Love
, while she was still working as a publicist for Bada Bing Records. While she doesn't look like the brooding well of pathos we recognize her for, her performance is exactly as arresting as ever.
#TBT to 2009, and that time Sharon Van Etten stopped the world from turning for 9 minutes, with her devastatingly sincere war songs in the Baeble Guest Apartment:
The session was filmed in June, so the Guest Apartment was absolutely suffocating, and after Van Etten's performance there was simply no room left to breathe. See our roof top interview
, where Van Etten, whose smile is shockingly ever present, unpacks the density of her work and her journey, "I'm happy that it's come this far at all, you know, New York is kind of the place where is makes or breaks you, and it hasn't broken me yet."