Tramp

Sharon Van Etten

When Sharon Van Etten sings, "You're the reason why I'll move to the city or why I'll need to leave," you want to gas up the car and help her pack. Her last album, Epic, was a downer-folk gem; here, she and her double- tracked voice sound bigger, thanks partly to help from dudes in Beirut and the National. Tramp plays like a female version of Beck's Sea Change, setting spacey guitar hum, tidal rhythms and pass-the-Xanax melodies against lyrics about silent love and bad timing. "Serpents" rotates on a two-chord vamp and then pumps up the anger, and "Leonard" waltzes around the room, unsure whether to give over to desire or walk away whole. Your soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend will have this on blast.

Listen to "Serpents":   
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Photos: Random Notes

From The Archives Issue 1150: February 16, 2012