Sharon Van Etten “Love More”

By Brad Reno on Thursday, August 19th, 2010  |  4,038 views


Sharon Van Etten “Love More” Sharon Van Etten “Love More”

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

[ download ]

Western musical styles have always held the drone at arm’s length. The musical traditions of other cultures–from India to the Middle East to Siberia to Australia–have historically embraced the inherent hypnotic tug of sustained tones, undertones, and overtones slipping and sliding against each other. However, aside from the Scots and their bagpipes, Europeans haven’t been too terribly keen on the drone. It’s generally been relegated to the avant-garde in Western culture, with The Beatles, The Velvet Underground and the shoegaze bands championing it in pop music (but those people have always been considered a bit weird anyway).

So it’s something of a surprise to hear a Brooklyn folkie like Sharon Van Etten building a song atop a drone that could have come straight off a vintage Tony Conrad album. Instead, it’s lifted from her confidently titled new record, Epic, due out October 5th on Ba Da Bing. “Love More” is a mesmerizing thing, a slow, steady, sturdy bedrock upon which other instruments come and go until Etten’s vocals arrive, followed by the guitars and percussion, bringing the elements more commonly associated with Brooklyn folkies.

It’s that unyielding drone in the background that gives the spare instrumentation of the rest of the song feel epic–the muted guitars, Etten’s multi-tracked vocals, and the deliberate drumbeats. As they swell together during the finale of the song, they sell the hard-won lessons of a failed relationship just as effectively with pure sound as the lyrics do with words.

It’s been twenty-two years since the Cowboy Junkies first turned heads by mixing roots music with The Velvets’ ambience. It’s good to hear someone like Sharon Van Etten demonstrate that the combination is still far from played out.

  • Facebook
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • FriendFeed
  • Posterous
  • Delicious
  • E-Mail

Rate It Here:  My ears, they bleed!Never againMehNot my thangOne listen is enoughGood, not greatWorth a listenPlaylist-worthyThis my jam!Songasm!!! (70 votes, average: 8.83 out of 10)


, , ,

2 Comments For This Post

  1. maurin Says:

    Not only do i love the discovery of strangely wonderful music through OTM, the informed running commentary on each song (well, except Sunday samplers, virtue of brevity) elucidates on each aspect of a tune – and that has me learning quite a bit and often helps me appreciate a song even more. I had no idea the Scots, the Beatles and Van Etten had something in common with the aboriginal Australians. Good to know that.
    Thank you for taking the time to deeply analyse three minutes (and change) of a sound.

  2. watchinggmind Says:

    It is amazing how similar her voice to another Brooklyn folk singer: Diane Cluck. Both these ladies have an amazing emotional landscape to their voice. If you do not know Diance Cluck, I highly recommend “easy to be around.”