Friday, February 5th, 2010
Much More Than That
Review of Sharon Van Etten’s Because I Was In Love
Michael PalmieriWhen I wrote up Sharon Van Etten’s debut album Because I Was In Love back in October, I felt a bit bad about giving it just a passing mention as I liked it more than just a sentence or two might have implied. But at the time my web hosting was self-destructing and I wanted to get something out there before her local appearance opening for Rain Machine, so a cursory mention it was.
But with there seeming to be even more attention being paid to Van Etten and her record now than when it was initially released back in May 2009, now’s as good a time as any to revisit the album and, at the very least, elaborate a bit more on why it’s worthy of notice – and in a word, it’s the voice. Slow, rich and seemingly operating at the resonant frequency of melancholy and with the texture of tears, it’s the perfect vehicle for her spare, almost skeletal songs of longing and disappointment, transporting them directly through the ears and into the heart. That might seem a bit flowery a description, but I defy you to listen to the “ooohs” in “Much More Than This” and tell me otherwise. That voice, with the languid, low-key acoustic atmosphere and strategically-placed bits of electric guitar and piano make for a record that’s worth revisiting again not only a few months later, but again and again.
Blurt has a feature piece on Van Etten and Weather Vane Music has a stunning new song recorded for their Shaking Through series available to download. Sharon Van Etten opens up the sold out Great Lake Swimmers show at Trinity-St. Paul’s tomorrow night and returns on April 5 for a show at the Horseshoe with Megafaun.
Video: Spoon – “Written In Reverse”
Beatroute, North County Times and The Georgia Straight talk to St. Vincent, who just released a new video/comedy sketch from Actor, featuring the thespian skills of Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, also known as ThunderAnt.
MusicOmn, The Line Of Best Fit, Montreal Mirror, Montreal Gazette, The Advocate, CBC, eye and NOW have conversations with Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields, who are in town at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Monday night. There’s also an official trailer up for Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt & The Magnetic Fields, the forthcoming documentary film on the band, and an MP3 from the 69 Love Songs vinyl box set, coming out on April 20. And for folks in Toronto looking to pick this up, Criminal Records has got your best deal as far as pre-orders of the limited edition go.
Good news for Toronto roots-rock fans – in addition to their free show at the Horseshoe this coming Tuesday night, Those Darlins have slated a return engagement on April 6 at the same venue with Deer Tick. Bad news is that’s the same night as the Drive-By Truckers’ gig at Lee’s Palace. Good news is that the Truckers are doing a second night at the same venu on the 7th. Unless you were planning on hitting both, in which case I think you break about even.