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Sharon Van Etten - Serpents

Mar 15, 2012

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Why do we like this?

Sharon Van Etten's Tramp is an emotionally haunting journey packed with deeply resonate lyrics that cast a beautifully painted landscape, best reflected upon alone.

The first track "Warsaw" is a quick acclimation to the tone of the album with flowing melodies and grinding guitars. The second, "Give Out," really defines the mood of the album. With passionate lines like "You're the reason that I'll move to the city, or why I'll need to leave," it's impossible not to invoke someone in your memory. One of the finest combinations, this is an introspective album that can stir your own psyche.

Based in Brooklyn, the singer-songwriter was first influenced to go into music by TV On The Radio's Kyp Malone. Tramp follows 2010's Epic and 2009's Because I Was In Love.

"Serpents" is another stellar song, with coy lyrics like "You enjoy sucking on dreams/so I will fall asleep/with someone other than you," and when the emotion of the album gets to be almost overwhelming "We Are Fine" reassures us: "It's okay to feel, everything that's real." Packed with stand out tracks, Tramp comes to a resolution with a powerful acceptance in the final few songs "Magic Chords," "Ask," "I'm Wrong" and "Joke or Lie," but it really plays best as a cohesive take. Expertly paced,  many of the track breaks play like well thought out time changes.

Like any great piece of art that's so deeply personal, Tramp can be a somewhat draining experience, but a deeply rewarding one as well.

Sharon Van Etten's tour continues across Americawith stops at SXSW in Austin this week including NPR's official showcase at Stubb's Wednesday (today!), a later show Thursday night at 12:35am at Mohawk, and finally our suggestion: 8:30 Saturday night at Central Presbyterian Church.

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