Sharon Van Etten

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Sharon Van Etten
Van Etten in 2019
Van Etten in 2019
Background information
Birth nameSharon Katharine Van Etten
Born (1981-02-26) February 26, 1981 (age 40)[1]
Belleville, New Jersey, U.S.
OriginBrooklyn, New York, United States
GenresIndie rock, indie folk
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, piano, percussion, omnichord, harmonium
Years active2007 – present
LabelsJagjaguwar, Ba Da Bing, Language Of Stone

Sharon Katharine Van Etten (born February 26, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter. She has released five studio albums, the latest of which is Remind Me Tomorrow (2019).

Early life[edit]

Van Etten was born in Belleville, New Jersey, the middle child of five.[2] She lived in Nutley, New Jersey, then moved to Clinton, New Jersey as a pre-teen. She attended North Hunterdon High School, at which she participated in the chorus and performed in stage musicals.[3][4][5][6]

Later, she moved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University and studied recording, but dropped out after a year. She ended up working at the Red Rose, a coffee and record shop and music venue in Murfreesboro for about five years. She fell into an abusive relationship with a rock musician who discouraged her from writing songs. After five years, she left in the middle of the night with whatever she could carry. She showed up to her parents' house on Thanksgiving Day and her mother answered the door, holding the dishes she's about to put on the table, to find her black-sheep middle child, who hasn't spoken to her in ages, standing on the doorstep.[7]

In 2004, she moved back to New Jersey, where she worked at Perryville Wine and Spirits, then moved to New York City in 2005. She lived in Brooklyn for a number of years, in the suburban neighborhood of Ditmas Park.[7]


Van Etten at the 2012 Newport Folk Festival

Van Etten self-released handmade CDs until 2009, when her debut studio recording was released.[8][9] Before her studio debut, she worked at Astor Wines and as a publicist at Ba Da Bing Records.[10]

2009: 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.[8]

2010: epic[edit]

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 first song recorded for the album was "Love More", recorded in December 2009 by producer Brian McTear for Weathervane Music's Shaking Through documentary video series. The remainder of the album was produced by Brian McTear with engineer Amy Morrissey in May 2010 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."[11]

2012: Tramp[edit]

Van Etten in 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.[12] Additional recording took place at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia, where the album was also mixed with Engineers and Mixers Brian McTear and Jonathan Low. 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.[13]

2014-2015: Are We There[edit]

May 2014 brought about the release of Van Etten's fourth studio album, titled Are We There, on Jagjaguwar.[14] 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.[15] 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. The EP I Don't Want to Let You Down, a compilation of songs that were not included on Are We There, was released on Jagjaguwar in 2015.

2019: 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, released on January 18, 2019.[16] On February 28, 2019, Van Etten appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to perform the single "Seventeen".[17]


On April 22, 2020, Van Etten played bass and sang harmony as the three surviving members of Fountains of Wayne performed in a televised benefit with various New Jersey-affiliated musicians to raise funds for COVID-19 relief. She filled the role left vacant by the COVID-19-related death of Adam Schlesinger a few weeks earlier. She and the other three members of the band played simultaneously from remote locations. The band played the song "Hackensack" from the album Welcome Interstate Managers.[18]

On May 15, 2020, Van Etten dropped a cover of (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? with Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme.[19]

In October 2020, Van Etten made a song titled "Let Go" for the documentary, Feels Good Man, directed by Arthur Jones about Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe the Frog.[20]

On November 16, 2020, Van Etten released two covers of traditional holiday songs, "Silent Night" and "Blue Christmas".[21]

Musical style[edit]

Van Etten's music is characterized by a heavy use of harmonies.[7] Pitchfork described her songs as having "echoes of folk tradition."[8] 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."[11] With "Comeback Kid" and Remind Me Tomorrow, she introduced electronic sounds into her music.[22]

As an actress[edit]

Since 2016, Van Etten has appeared in both seasons of the Netflix drama The OA as Rachel, a fellow abductee along with Prairie in Dr. Percy's basement lab/terrarium.[2] 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.[23]

Van Etten made her feature film debut with a supporting role in Never Rarely Sometimes Always directed by Eliza Hittman, for which she also wrote and performed the original track 'Staring at a Mountain'.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Van Etten had her first child, a son, in 2017 with her romantic partner Zeke Hutchins. Hutchins used to be her drummer and then became her manager. After living in New York City for 15 years, she moved with her family to Los Angeles in September 2019.[2][25]




  • Daytrotter Session (2010)
  • NPR Tiny Desk Concert (2010)
  • Amazon Artist Lounge EP (2014)
  • Are We There – Sampler (2014)
  • I Don't Want to Let You Down EP (2015)


  • 2007: "Much More Than That" / "Over Your Shoulder" (7") – Abaton Book Company, Lost Lathe Series (limited edition: 30 hand-numbered copies)[26]
  • 2010: "One Day" / "If You Were Here" – Ba Da Bing!
  • September 10, 2010: "I'm Giving Up on You" / "You Didn't Really Do That" (7") – Polyvinyl Record Company – PRC-206 (limited edition: 500 copies on black vinyl)[27]
  • 2012: "Serpents" (7") – Jagjaguwar
  • 2012: "Leonard" (7") – Jagjaguwar
  • 2012: "Give Out" – Jagjaguwar
  • 2012: "Magic Chords" – Jagjaguwar
  • 2013: "We Are Fine" (7") – Jagjaguwar
  • April 2013: "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" / "A Wake for the Minotaur" (7") by Shearon Van Ettenwater (Subpop) – a collaboration between Van Etten and Shearwater for Record Store Day 2013 (limited edition: 1,000 copies)[28][29][30]
  • 2014: "Taking Chances" (7") – Jagjaguwar
  • 2014: "Our Love" – Jagjaguwar
  • 2014: "Every Time The Sun Comes Up"- Jagjaguwar
  • 2014: "Nothing Will Change" – Jagjaguwar
  • January 2015: "I Don't Want to Let You Down" (digital single) – Jagjaguwar[31]
  • August 2016: "Not Myself" (digital single) – Jagjaguwar – released in support of the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund in memory of the victims of the Orlando nightclub shooting.[32]
  • March 2017: Sharon Van Etten / Sam Cohen – Kinderliederbuch zur Charakterbildung (Children's Songbook for Character Building) (7") – a limited-edition promo single for Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album, a soundtrack for the Amazon Studios TV series The Man in the High Castle. Van Etten covered "The End of the World" and Cohen covered "The House of the Rising Sun".[33]
  • 2018: "Comeback Kid" – #20 Adult Alternative Songs[34]
  • 2019: "Seventeen" – Jagjaguwar[35] – #9 Adult Alternative Songs[34]
  • 2020: "Beaten Down" – Jagjaguwar

Music videos[edit]

  • "Magic Chords" (2012)
  • "Taking Chances" (2014)
  • "Our Love" (2014)
  • "Every Time the Sun Comes Up" (2015)
  • "Your Love Is Killing Me" (2015)
  • "Leonard" (2017)
  • "i wish i knew & keep (Live Performance Video)" (2017)
  • "keep (Live Performance Video)" (2017)
  • "For You" (2018)
  • "Comeback Kid" (2018)
  • "Seventeen" (2019)
  • "Seventeen (Vertical Video)" (2019)
  • "Jupiter 4" (2019)
  • "No One's Easy to Love" (2019)
  • "Beaten Down" (2020)
  • "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding? – feat Josh Homme" (2020)

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 c d Coscarelli, Joe (January 3, 2019). "The Many Lives of Sharon Van Etten". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ "Sharon Van Etten". NPR. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  5. ^ "Sharon Van Etten with Damien Jurado", Accessed August 14, 2019. "Van Etten was born and raised in New Jersey where she attended North Hunterdon High School."
  6. ^ Perusse, Bernard. "Sharon Van Etten Traces the Roots of Her Growing Acclaim to the Journals She Kept as a Girl", Montreal Gazette, February 21, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2019. "The New Jersey native joined her first choir at 11 while attending Yantacaw school and continued choral singing at North Hunterdon High School, where she also performed in such musicals as West Side Story, Hello Dolly! and Fiddler on the Roof."
  7. ^ a b c Ferguson, Wm. (February 2, 2012). "The Rough Harmonies of Sharon Van Etten". the New York Times. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Murphy, Matthew (June 22, 2009). "Sharon Van Etten: Because I Was in Love". Pitchfork. Pitchfork Media Inc. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  9. ^ Cian Traynor (March 20, 2012). "Blindsided By Love: Sharon Van Etten Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Mertes, Micah (March 31, 2011). "Sharon Van Etten, a voice to be reckoned with". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved April 25, 2011.
  11. ^ a b Hilton, Robin (September 15, 2010). "First Listen: Sharon Van Etten, 'Epic'". NPR. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  12. ^ Blau, Max (March 9, 2012). "Sharon Van Etten: Tramps Like Us". American Songwriter. Retrieved April 12, 2012.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ "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.
  15. ^ Roffmanon, Michael (February 20, 2014). "Sharon Van Etten announces new album Are We There". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  16. ^ Andrew Trendell (October 2, 2018). "Sharon Van Etten shares throbbing new single 'Comeback Kid' and announces album 'Remind Me Tomorrow'". Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  17. ^ "Watch Sharon Van Etten Perform "Seventeen" on The Ellen DeGeneres Show". Retrieved March 26, 2020.
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ "Sharon Van Etten Shares New Song "Let Go"". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 23, 2021.
  21. ^ "Sharon Van Etten Gets in the Holiday Spirit with "Silent Night", "Blue Christmas"". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 22, 2021.
  22. ^ Sherburne, Philip (October 2, 2018). "Sharon Van Etten - Comeback Kid". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
  23. ^ "Sharon Van Etten". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  24. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (April 15, 2019). "Focus Features, 'Moonlight' Outfit Pastel & BBC Films Team For Eliza Hittman Drama 'Never Rarely Sometimes Always'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  25. ^ "Sharon Van Etten Talks New Doc, Springsteen and Leaving New York". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  26. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – Much More Than That". Discogs. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  27. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – I'm Giving Up on You". Discogs. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  28. ^ "Record Store Day Essential // Shearon Van Ettenwater Split 7". Jagjaguwar. March 26, 2013. Archived from the original on February 25, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  29. ^ 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.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – I Don't Want To Let You Down". Discogs. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  32. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – Not Myself". Discogs. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  33. ^ "Sharon Van Etten / Sam Cohen – Kinderliederbuch Zur Charakterbildung (Children's Songbook For Character Building)". Discogs. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  34. ^ a b "Sharon Van Etten Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  35. ^ "Sharon Van Etten – "Seventeen" Video". Spin. January 8, 2019.
  36. ^ "YouTube". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 20, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ "ace & jig Fall 2013 with Sharon Van Etten". March 28, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  39. ^ Kaloudis, Evan (December 21, 2009). "Interview: Peter Silberman of The Antlers". Beats Per Minute. Banquet Media. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
  40. ^ "Music from Episode 36 of Boardwalk Empire on HBO". HBO. Retrieved May 22, 2014.
  41. ^ ""The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver" Out Now!". ATO Records. December 12, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  42. ^ 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.
  43. ^ "Life Along the Borderline: A Tribute to Nico", BAM. Accessed August 4, 2014.
  44. ^ "Comic-Con Trailer: The Walking Dead Season 4". AMC Networks. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ McNutt, Myles (November 6, 2014). "Elementary: "The Five Orange Pipz"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  47. ^ 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.
  48. ^ "Ace & Jig: Spring 2016 Video Fashion Week". Vogue Videos. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  49. ^ "Sharon Van Etten Wears Her Heart on Her Sleeve (+ Follows Two Important Rules on the Road)". May 20, 2015. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  50. ^ "Hear Perfume Genius, Sharon Van Etten, and More Cover Grateful Dead for 'Day of the Dead' Compilation". Spin. April 27, 2016. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  51. ^ "2016 Volvo XC90 TV Commercial, 'Wedding' Song by Sharon Van Etten". Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  52. ^ "Documentary Awards - Critics' Choice AwardsCritics' Choice Awards". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  53. ^ BBC Music (August 20, 2018), BBC Proms – Sharon Van Etten: New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down, retrieved August 26, 2018
  54. ^ "The full Glastonbury stage times and clashes have been announced". The Independent. May 30, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  55. ^ "Glastonbury 2019 - Sharon Van Etten". BBC Music Events. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  56. ^ [1][dead link]
  57. ^ "Deep Sea Diver Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved November 23, 2020.

External links[edit]