Sharon Van Etten

8:30pm, Central Presbyterian Church

Sharon Van Etten

"Chained to the wall" are the first words Sharon Van Etten speaks on "Love More," the gorgeous closer of her latest LP, 2010's Epic. There's something so devastating about her repose, especially since the album circles the aftermath of an abusive relationship, one the Jersey-born singer-guitarist was in for several years when she lived in Tennessee. Toxicity doesn't dominate Epic, however. The 29-year-old's way with words is poetic, removed from the pain but using it to create a powerful cocktail.

"Bad boyfriend stuff, blah, blah, blah," she laughs. "My first record was a bottomless pit straight out of a relationship album. It's a bleak record, but I'm still really proud of it, because I know who I was then. Epic is happier."

That catharsis comes through in "Love More" and much of Epic. There's also a feeling of Van Etten becoming comfortable with her talent.

"My junior and senior year of high school I wrote stupid songs but didn't take it seriously. Part of that's my insecurity. Writing poetic lyrics stream-of-conscience style maybe is a cop out, but I like the immediacy."

Since the late fall release of Epic, fans are popping up in the strangest places. The National's Aaron Dessner is on board to produce her third album, and early last year, Bon Iver covered "Love More" live. Van Etten tries to play it cool.

"Well, I just about shit my pants," she says. "I thought, 'How the hell do they know who I am?'"

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Friday Picks & Sleepers
Obvious Picks and loads of not-so-obvious Sleepers!

March 20, 2015

Thursday Showcases
Thursday Showcases
International hip-hop, or domestic, Modern Outsider sounds?

March 20, 2015

More by Audra Schroeder
SXSW Interactive Conference Quick Cuts
The Signal & the Noise
Statistician Nate Silver on more data, more problems

March 15, 2013

SXSW Film
SXSW Film Reviews: 'Kiss of the Damned'
Daily Reviews and Interviews

March 15, 2013

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Sharon Van Etten

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle