Sharon Van Etten

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Sharon Van Etten
Birth name Sharon Van Etten
Born (1981-02-26) February 26, 1981 (age 34)[1]
Clinton, New Jersey, United States
Origin Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Indie rock, folk, folk rock
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocal, guitar, piano, percussion, omnichord, harmonium
Years active 2007 - present
Labels Jagjaguwar, Ba Da Bing, Language Of Stone
Associated acts The Antlers, Shilpa Ray, The National, Beirut, The Walkmen, Wye Oak, Julianna Barwick, Shearwater

Sharon Van Etten (born February 26, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter[2][3] from New Jersey.[4][5][6][7]

Early life[edit]

Sharon Van Etten was born in Clinton, New Jersey[8]. In 1999, she moved to Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University and studied recording, but dropped out of college after a year. Van Etten ending up working at the Red Rose, a coffee and record shop and music venue in Murfreesboro, for about five years.[5][9] In 2004, she moved back to New Jersey, where she worked at Perryville Wine and Spirits. Van Etten moved to New York in 2005.


Van Etten self-released handmade CDs until 2009, when her debut studio recording was released.[10][11] Before her studio debut, she worked at Astor Wines and as a publicist at Ba Da Bing Records,[12]

Because I Was in Love[edit]

Sharon Van Etten
(Newport Folk Festival 2012)

Van Etten's official debut, Because I Was in Love, was released on May 26, 2009, on Language of Stone, and was manufactured and distributed by Drag City. "Because I Was in Love" was produced by Greg Weeks at Hexham Head studio in Philadelphia.[10]


On September 21, 2010, she released her second album epic on Ba Da Bing Records. With no set band at the time, Van Etten called on friends Jeffrey Kish, Dave Hartley, Jessica Larrabee, Andy LaPlant, Cat Martino, Meg Baird, Jim Callan, and Brian Christinzio. The album was produced by Brian McTear at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia. NPR described it as possessing "a fuller sound compared to the super-spare arrangements on her first two self-produced albums, but epic still feels incredibly intimate, with lots of room to breathe and unfold."[13]


Sharon Van Etten (January 6, 2013)

Her third studio album, Tramp, was released on February 7, 2012, on Jagjaguwar. Tramp was produced by The National's Aaron Dessner, and recorded in his home studio in Brooklyn, NY.[14] The album features musicians Doug Keith, Thomas Bartlett, Bryan Devendorf, Bryce Dessner, Matt Barrick, Rob Moose, Julianna Barwick, Peter Silberman, Logan Coale, Clarice Jensen, Ben Lanz, Zach Condon, and Jenn Wasner.[15]

Are We There[edit]

May 2014 brought about the release of Van Etten's fourth record, Are We There on Jagjaguwar.[16] Van Etten self-produced the record with Stewart Lerman, with the guidance of bandmate and manager Zeke Hutchins. Most of the recording was done at Hobo Sound Studios in Weehawken, New Jersey, with piano tracks being recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City.[17] The record features musicians Zeke Hutchins, Doug Keith, Heather Woods Broderick, Dave Hartley, Adam Granduciel, Marisa Anderson, Stuart D. Bogie, Mickey Free, Mary Lattimore, Little Isidor, Jacob Morris, Torres' Mackenzie Scott, Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg, Lower Dens' Jana Hunter and Efterklang affiliate Peter Broderick.

I Don't Want to Let You Down EP[edit]

In 2015, the "I Don't Want to Let You Down EP" was released on Jagjaguwar. It is composed of the songs that did not make it onto "Are We There".


  • 2013: In March/April 2013, Van Etten opened for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds's North American tour, sometimes singing guest backing vocals with Cave and his band.
  • 2015: In February 2015, Van Etten will be on tour as part of her new 2014 album Are We There, kicking off in New York, spending the majority of her time in Australia, New Zealand finally heading back through Europe back to Boston and New York to conclude her tour.[19]
  • 2015: On June 26, 2015, Van Etten performed on The Park stage at the 2015 Glastonbury Festival.[20]

Musical style[edit]

Van Etten's music is characterized by a heavy use of harmonies.[2] Van Etten's songs were described by the music website Pitchfork Media as having "echoes of folk tradition."[10] NPR Music asserts: "Her songs are heartfelt without being overly earnest; her poetry is plainspoken but not overt, and her elegant voice is wrapped in enough rasp and sorrow to keep from sounding too pure or confident."[13]




  • 2007: "Much More Than That" / "Over Your Shoulder" by Sharon Van Etten (7") - Abaton Book Company, Lost Lathe Series (limited edition: 30 hand-numbered copies)[21]
  • September 10, 2010: "I'm Giving Up on You" / "You Didn't Really Do That" by Sharon Van Etten (7") - Polyvinyl Record Company – PRC-206 (limited edition: 500 copies on black vinyl)[22]
  • January 2015: "I Don't Want to Let You Down" by Sharon Van Etten (Digital) - Jagjaguwar [26]

Other contributions[edit]

  • April 2009: "Coming Home" written by Jeremy Joyce for the feature film Woman's Prison (vocals and guitar)
  • April 2012: "Serpents" was featured in the season 2 finale of Lost Girl, "Flesh and Blood"
  • December 2012: "Prisoners" with J Mascis on The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver[29][30]
  • August 2013: Van Etten designed a limited edition charity t-shirt which was being sold through the Yellow Bird Project to raise money for Women In Need (WIN), a charity that provides safe housing for homeless women and their children in New York City[33]
  • November 2014: "Every Time the Sun Comes Up" was used in the Season 3 Elementary Episode "The Five Orange Pipz"[34]

Personal life[edit]

Van Etten lives in Brooklyn, New York.[7]


  1. ^ Davison, Jeffrey (February 11, 2012). "Live Session with Sharon Van Etten and Heather Woods Broderick" (in-studio). WFMU: Shrunken Planet with Jeffrey Davison: Playlist from February 11, 2012. WFMU. Retrieved 21 February 2014.  External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ a b Ferguson, Wm. (February 2, 2012). "The Rough Harmonies of Sharon Van Etten". New York Times. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  3. ^ Leahey, Andrew. "Sharon Van Etten: Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  4. ^ Dollar, Steve (February 3, 2012). "She's Gonna Make It After All". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Chiu, David. "Sharon Van Etten Is Not Hiding Anymore". Microphone Memory Emotion. Retrieved 22 February 2014. September 25, 2009 
  6. ^ Amaya, Jessica (January 10, 2011). "Sharon Van Etten headlined Bowery Ballroom (pics, video, live recording, setlist), touring through April (dates)". Brooklyn Vegan. Spin Music, a division of SpinMedia. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Bonney, Grace (May 2012). "At Home: with Sharon Van Etten". Design Sponge. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sharon Van Etten". NPR. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  9. ^ Nardwuar (July 2, 2012). "Nardwuar vs. Sharon Van Etten & Lemmy of Motorhead !" (audio). Nardwuar The Human Serviette Show. Vancouver, BC, Canada. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  10. ^ a b c Murphy, Matthew (June 22, 2009). "Sharon Van Etten: Because I Was in Love". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Cian Traynor (March 20, 2012). "Blindsided By Love: Sharon Van Etten Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Mertes, Micah (31 March 2011). "Sharon Van Etten, a voice to be reckoned with". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved 25 April 2011. 
  13. ^ a b Hilton, Robin (September 15, 2010). "First Listen: Sharon Van Etten, 'Epic'". NPR. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  14. ^ Blau, Max (March 9, 2012). "Sharon Van Etten: Tramps Like Us". American Songwriter. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  15. ^ Guendelsberger, Emily (November 9, 2011). "Sharon Van Etten announces new album, tour dates, eerie resemblance to Carrie-Ann Moss". AV Club (Philadelphia). Onion Inc. Archived from the original on April 16, 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Up to Date Preview of Are We There?". F Yeah! Sharon Van Ettan: Fan Blog for Sharon Van Etten. October 22, 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  17. ^ Roffmanon, Michael (February 20, 2014). "Sharon Van Etten announces new album Are We There". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  18. ^ "The National: Tour / History 2001-2013". American Mary. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  19. ^ "Sharon Van Etten - Tours". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "BBCiPlayer - Glastonbury 2015: Sharon Van Etten". Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  21. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – Much More Than That". Discogs. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  22. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – I'm Giving Up on You". Discogs. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  23. ^ "Record Store Day Essential // Shearon Van Ettenwater Split 7". Jagjaguwar. March 26, 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  24. ^ Pelly, Jenn (March 21, 2013). "Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater Releasing Collaborative Sub Pop 7" Single for Record Store Day". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  25. ^ Modell, Josh (Mar 13, 2012). "Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater cover "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (A.V. Undercover Season 3)" (video). AV Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – I Don't Want To Let You Down". Discogs. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  27. ^ Kaloudis, Evan (21 December 2009). "Interview: Peter Silberman of The Antlers". Beats Per Minute. Banquet Media. Retrieved 19 July 2015. 
  28. ^ "Music from Episode 36 of Boardwalk Empire on HBO". HBO. Retrieved 22 May 2014. 
  29. ^ ""The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver" Out Now!". ATO Records. December 12, 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  30. ^ Roffman, Michael (March 6, 2013). "Listen to J Mascis and Sharon Van Etten cover John Denver's "Prisoners"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 22 February 2014. 
  31. ^ "Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico", BAM. Accessed 4 August 2014.
  32. ^ "Comic-Con Trailer: The Walking Dead Season 4". AMC Networks. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  33. ^ Van Etten, Sharon (August 12, 2013). "New SVE T-shirt is now Live – Proceeds to Charity". Sharon Van Etten. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  34. ^ McNutt, Myles (6 November 2014). "Elementary: "The Five Orange Pipz"". AV Club. Retrieved 31 December 2014. 
  35. ^ Powers, Ann (2 April 2015). "The National, 'Sunshine On My Back' - The 'Trouble Will Find Me' Session Recording Features Sharon Van Etten". NPR. Retrieved 24 May 2015. 

External links[edit]