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I Don’t Want to Let You Down

Indie-rock star finds new highs on an EP full of pain and fire

Sharon Van Etten

Laura Crosta

Sharon Van Etten finds remarkable might in vulnerability, and her latest does what good EPs should: bushwhacks new paths. “Just Like Blood” pares imbalanced love down to the bone (“You set me off just like a gun/Then you run just like blood”) with a string section suggesting unfinished business. The title track and “Pay My Debts” are unusually groove-driven near-pop. But the trumps are familiar folk-rock incandescence: “Tell Me” realizes a worthy demo from 2012’s Tramp, and “I Always Fall Apart” sets scar tissue emoting over a piano. “It’s not my fault,” she announces, her need fully owned, “it’s who I am.”


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