Sharon Van Etten sweats it all out in the new video for “Porta.”
The clip opens with the singer-songwriter preparing to exercise, inserting a cassette into a boombox before engaging in a rigorous workout — her vocals blanketed over layers and layers of velvety synths.
Van Etten said in a statement that “Porta” was written during one of her “lowest lows” in 2020. “For most of my adult life I have struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety and coping mechanisms, and I sometimes let those dark moments get the best of me,” she said. “During this time I felt very dissociated. Not connected to my body, and I felt out of control.”
She then reached out to her friend Stella Cook, who runs Base Pilates in North Carolina. The duo would meet once a week over Zoom, drinking coffee before exercising.
“I knew I was entering a no-judgment zone and I needed to be held accountable for my actions and Stella helped me step up,” she said. “She was encouraging, but not pushy. If life got in the way, I didn’t feel like I let her down — but I loved our sessions. I looked forward to them. I started feeling closer to her, and closer to myself, and it helped things seem hopeful. And I just wanted to share that with the world.”
Van Etten will embark on the Wild Hearts Tour this summer with Angel Olsen and Julien Baker, which kicks off in Vienna, Virginia, on July 21. She contributed to the upcoming Yoko Ono tribute album Ocean Child, covering “Toyboat.”