Sharon Van Etten

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Sharon Van Etten
Sharon van etten belly up 2012.jpg
Background information
Birth nameSharon Van Etten
Born (1981-02-26) February 26, 1981 (age 37)[1]
Belleville, New Jersey, United States
OriginBrooklyn, New York, United States
GenresIndie rock, folk, folk rock
InstrumentsVocal, guitar, piano, percussion, omnichord, harmonium
Years active2007 – present
LabelsJagjaguwar, Ba Da Bing, Language Of Stone
Associated actsThe Antlers, Shilpa Ray, The National, Beirut, The Walkmen, Wye Oak, Julianna Barwick, Shearwater, Michael Cera

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

Early life[edit]

Van Etten was born in Belleville, New Jersey and lived in Nutley before moving to Clinton as a pre-teen.[8][9] Later, she moved to Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University and studied recording, but dropped out of college after a year. Van Etten ended up working at the Red Rose, a coffee and record shop and music venue in Murfreesboro, for about five years. In 2004, she moved back to New Jersey, where she worked at Perryville Wine and Spirits. Van Etten moved to New York City in 2005.


SVE Newport 2012.jpg

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]

Van Etten's 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, Van Etten 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, and Andy LaPlant of She Keeps Bees, 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)

Van Etten's 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, New York.[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 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 touring member Peter Broderick.

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

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

Remind Me Tomorrow[edit]

On October 2, 2018, Van Etten released a new track entitled Comeback Kid and announced her next album Remind Me Tomorrow, which will be released January 18, 2019.[18]

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]

As an actor[edit]

In 2016, Van Etten appeared in five episodes of season 1 of the Netflix drama The OA as Rachel, a fellow abductee along with Prairie in Dr. Percy's basement lab/terrarium. Rachel and the other captives are subjected to after-life experiments while conspiring over a period of years to possibly escape, and at one point, Rachel sings a song of remembrance. Van Etten also appeared in episode six of the 2017 Twin Peaks series on Showtime.[19]

Personal life[edit]

Van Etten gave birth to her first child in 2017 and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.[7]



  • Right Beside Me (2005) – First demo, self-released on CD-R with home inkjet printed inserts.
  • Musical Valium (2006) – Self-released
  • When The Rain Came (2006) – Self-released
  • Live At The Bowery Poetry Club (August 5, 2006) (2006) – Self-released live mini-album, CD-R packaged in a hand-made/glued brown paper bag sleeve.
  • I Miss Tennessee (2006) – Second demo, self-released on CD-R with green textured art paper glued as the outer sleeve and a white vellum inner sleeve.
  • Home Recordings aka Untitled (2007) – Self-released home-recorded CD-R, in plastic wallet with wallpaper sleeve with two inserts: a brown paper sheet with track listing and lyrics (which does not include track 11) and a written note: "Here is a mix of new and old. Sorry if some songs are noisy. I'm re-recording these in the next few weeks. I'd like to know what you think. X Sharon."
  • Sharon Van Etten (2008) – Self-released home-recorded CD-R, with different artwork but same track listing as "Home Recordings" album.
  • Because I Was in Love (2009)
  • epic (2010)
  • Tramp (2012)
  • Tramp Demos (2012)
  • Are We There (2014)
  • (it was) because i was in love (2017) – A remastered & remixed version of Van Etten’s 2009 debut album. Remastered by Joe Lambert, remixed by Craig Silvey, and includes deluxe vinyl packaging with new artwork and liner notes. Includes 2 bonus tracks, "I’m Giving Up On You" and "You Didn’t Really Do That", previously only available through Polyvinyl.
  • Remind Me Tomorrow (2019)


  • Amazon Artist Lounge - EP (2014)
  • I Don't Want to Let You Down - EP (2015)


Music Videos[edit]

  • Taking Chances
  • Our Love
  • Magic Chords
  • Every Time the Sun Comes Up
  • Your Love is Killing Me
  • Leonard
  • For You

Other contributions[edit]


  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]. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  2. ^ a b Ferguson, Wm. (February 2, 2012). "The Rough Harmonies of Sharon Van Etten". the New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  3. ^ Leahey, Andrew. "Sharon Van Etten: Biography". AllMusic. All Media Network, LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  4. ^ Dollar, Steve (February 3, 2012). "She's Gonna Make It After All". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  5. ^ Chiu, David. "Sharon Van Etten Is Not Hiding Anymore". Microphone Memory Emotion. Retrieved February 22, 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 February 22, 2014.
  7. ^ a b Bonney, Grace (May 2012). "At Home: with Sharon Van Etten". Design Sponge. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  8. ^ Kaplan, Ilana. "Sharon Van Etten Is Right There", Interview (magazine), May 27, 2014. Accessed June 29, 2018. "Sharon Van Etten: Oh, nice! I can’t let go of it. I was born in Belleville. Then I grew up in Nutley and in the sixth grade we moved to Clinton."
  9. ^ "Sharon Van Etten". NPR. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Murphy, Matthew (June 22, 2009). "Sharon Van Etten: Because I Was in Love". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  11. ^ Cian Traynor (March 20, 2012). "Blindsided By Love: Sharon Van Etten Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  12. ^ a b Mertes, Micah (March 31, 2011). "Sharon Van Etten, a voice to be reckoned with". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  13. ^ a b Hilton, Robin (September 15, 2010). "First Listen: Sharon Van Etten, 'Epic'". NPR. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  14. ^ Blau, Max (March 9, 2012). "Sharon Van Etten: Tramps Like Us". American Songwriter. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  15. ^ Guendelsberger, Emily (November 9, 2011). "Sharon Van Etten announces new album, tour dates, eerie resemblance to Carrie-Ann Moss". The A.V. Club (Philadelphia). Onion Inc. Archived from the original on April 16, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 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 February 21, 2014.
  17. ^ Roffmanon, Michael (February 20, 2014). "Sharon Van Etten announces new album Are We There". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Sharon Van Etten". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  20. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – Much More Than That". Discogs. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  21. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – I'm Giving Up on You". Discogs. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  22. ^ "Record Store Day Essential // Shearon Van Ettenwater Split 7". Jagjaguwar. March 26, 2013. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  23. ^ 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 February 21, 2014.
  24. ^ Modell, Josh (March 13, 2012). "Sharon Van Etten and Shearwater cover "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (A.V. Undercover Season 3)" (video). The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  25. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – I Don't Want To Let You Down". Discogs. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  26. ^ "Sharon Van Etten Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
  27. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  28. ^ [1][dead link]
  29. ^ "ace & jig Fall 2013 with Sharon Van Etten". March 28, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  30. ^ Kaloudis, Evan (December 21, 2009). "Interview: Peter Silberman of The Antlers". Beats Per Minute. Banquet Media. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  31. ^ "Music from Episode 36 of Boardwalk Empire on HBO". HBO. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  32. ^ ""The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver" Out Now!". ATO Records. December 12, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  33. ^ Roffman, Michael (March 6, 2013). "Listen to J Mascis and Sharon Van Etten cover John Denver's "Prisoners"". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  34. ^ "Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico", BAM. Accessed August 4, 2014.
  35. ^ "Comic-Con Trailer: The Walking Dead Season 4". AMC Networks. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  36. ^ 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 February 21, 2014.
  37. ^ McNutt, Myles (November 6, 2014). "Elementary: "The Five Orange Pipz"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  38. ^ Powers, Ann (April 2, 2015). "The National, 'Sunshine On My Back' - The 'Trouble Will Find Me' Session Recording Features Sharon Van Etten". NPR. Retrieved May 24, 2015.
  39. ^ "Ace & Jig: Spring 2016 Video Fashion Week". Vogue Videos. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  40. ^ "Sharon Van Etten Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve (+ Follows Two Important Rules on the Road)". May 20, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  41. ^ "2016 Volvo XC90 TV Commercial, 'Wedding' Song by Sharon Van Etten". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  42. ^ "Documentary Awards - Critics' Choice AwardsCritics' Choice Awards". Retrieved 2017-11-29.
  43. ^ BBC Music (2018-08-20), BBC Proms – Sharon Van Etten: New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, retrieved 2018-08-26

External links[edit]