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Sixth album from indie-rock maven Sharon Van Etten!
Sharon Van Etten's latest album We've Been Going About This All Wrong, is a tribute to how impossible and necessary it feels to care for each other. When it feels like the world's ending, Van Etten still cares.
Van Etten has long known how to match stories of confusion, hurt or fear with a powerful, surefooted delivery, writes NPR; her songs sound like self-preservation even when they tell of self-doubt. Here, she turns her gaze towards the wreckage and offers a tribute to how impossible and necessary it feels to care, now and always, despite the sustained trauma of the past two years, both pandemically and politically.
In the face of climate catastrophe, systemic injustice, a global pandemic or other earth-shattering forces outside our control, does it even seem possible to nurture relationships with ourselves, our families and our communities?
Throughout the last 13 years, Van Etten's albums have grown in scope from the spare, acoustic sound of her first few releases to the ambitious, bold palette of 2019's Remind Me Tomorrow. That release came after Van Etten took some time away from music; in the preceding years, she wrote a film score, got into acting, went back to school to study psychology and became a mother, all of which inspired that record's fearless, confident sound. Then came some changes that were outside Van Etten's control. She moved her family from New York, where she'd lived for 15 years, to California, just in time for the pandemic to force everyone inside. (She also planned to have a wedding in May of 2020; the pandemic botched that plan, too.) She told NME that the move was motivated by a desire to "learn how to diversify" her music career, so she wouldn't have to be so reliant on touring. Suddenly, touring wasn't even a possibility.
Stuck inside, Van Etten wrote, recorded and produced much of We've Been Going About This All Wrong in her home studio. The album's sound is less adventurous than Remind Me Tomorrow, but sturdier and sonically focused, reflecting the aching anxiety and claustrophobia of the questions she confronts.
|1. Darkness Fades|
|2. Home to Me|
|3. I’ll Try|
|2. Come Back|
|5. Far Away|