Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Bubbling Under the Top 75: Sharon Van Etten - 'Tramp'

Bookmark and Share
Text:AAA
Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012
PopMatters spotlights a few additional 2012 albums that didn't quite crack the Best 75 list.


cover art

Sharon Van Etten

Tramp

(Jagjaguwar)

Review [8.Feb.2012]



Sharon Van Etten
Tramp


“Singer-songwriter” can be a damning epithet, since the music world is overpopulated with individuals wanting to express themselves with their guitars. The expectation of expressiveness too often ends up pigeonholing female musicians in the confessional genre (that dogs women in film and literature as well). Though Sharon Van Etten fits squarely within this sometimes tired category, Tramp pushes beyond those limits to offer something truly exciting. On her third album, and first for Jagjaguwar, Van Etten expands her sound with intense arrangements, winding guitars, menacing strings, and melancholy vocal tracks. The lead single, “Serpents”, sums up the success of the album: a slow build that never gives up till it boils over. “We are Fine” shows off Van Etten’s melodic prowess, but luckily coats the quintessential guitar strumming with flexing muscles. Van Etten’s expressiveness is filtered through mumbled delivery, not a sign of self-consciousness, but a hazy world-weariness that matches the richness and strength of Tramp.—Scott Branson


Related Articles
27 May 2014
Sharon Van Etten's assured command of her craft grows with each new release, and this may just be her finest hour as a songwriter.
By Matthew Fiander and Arnold Pan
1 May 2014
Get the early word on highly anticipated albums from tUnE-yArDs, Swans, and Owen Pallett, along with a comprehensive list of May's new releases.
10 Mar 2014
Sharon Van Etten once again tweaks her signature sound just the right amount.
30 Jun 2013
April Fool's Day 2013 in Chicago didn't belong to practical jokes; it belonged to Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds.
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.