Knoxville Music Best Bets: Sharon Van Etten at the Square Room!

Posted on by on April 24th, 2012 | 0 Comments »


Who:   Sharon Van Etten with Flock of Dimes

Where:   The Square Room

When: Tuesday, April 24 (8 pm)

Knoxville music fans, we have been waiting for this one for some time. As you know, we are big fans of Sharon Van Etten. We have featured her not once, but twice for Free Music Friday. This show will be one of those wonderful intimate venue affairs that make the Scruffy City a special place.  Trust us, this will be a great show by a very talented young artist.  Here is what Rachael Maddux at had to say about Sharon’s most recent album, Tramp

It’s the default assumption that a female songwriter, performing under her own name, is “confessional,” that she’s serving up some dark part of her soul for the world’s consumption. And maybe one day Van Etten will slip into the voices of strangers just as easily as she inhabits her own. But for now, confession is still very much the thing. “It’s self-therapy,” Van Etten has said to nearly every interviewer who has asked, and more and more that seems to refer to both the writing and the production of her songs; that she can draw out the words, bring them into a room with other human beings, and together with them lay something beautiful on tape is both transformative and redemptive.

Matters of mistrust, isolation, and uncomfortable togetherness dominate Tramp, rolling through every track like a sick, creeping fog. Maybe Van Etten is still nursing the psychic wounds carved into her by that one Tennessee boyfriend, or maybe it’s something else; either way, she sounds, at last, good and angry and ready to put up a fight. First comes the dark jangle of “Warsaw”, then the calculated frankness of “Give Out” (“You’re the reason why I’ll move to the city/ Or why I’ll need to leave”). On “Serpents”, the album’s lead single, she scoffs, “I had a thought you would take me seriously.” As guitars strain at their tethers and Walkmen drummer Matt Barrick pounds out marching orders, the plea she issued three years ago on “Much More Than That”– “please don’t take me lightly”– quavers, crumples, turns to ash.

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