Home > News & Reviews > Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten - Remind Me Tomorrow (Album Review)

Wednesday, 23 January 2019 Written by Helen Payne

Photo: Ryan Pfluger

We’ve all got them: those little chores we should be getting on with. Posting that letter. Watering our houseplants. Shaving our legs. Sharon Van Etten’s got them, too, but she favours a different approach to these small administrative tasks. ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’, her fifth album, is about being more present and not giving a shit about the small stuff.

It’s her richest and most full-bodied album to date; a world away from the grainy, self-produced folk melodies on her debut ‘Because I Was In Love’, or the more indie-inclined, Aaron Dessner-produced ‘Tramp’ in 2012. Here, she’s designed a new realm all of her own alongside producer John Congleton, whose construction of filthy, deep synths on tracks like No One’s Easy To Love, You Shadow and Hands works in contrast to her soft but powerful vocal range.

So why the change of pace? The answer is simple: people change. It’s been four years since her last album, and Van Etten has been pretty busy in the interim.

She had a son. Who says you can’t be a mother as an artist in New York City? Who says you can’t also act in the Netflix series The OA? Who says you can’t go to school and study psychology at the same time? Who says, on top of this, you can’t write an entire film score?

Van Etten was doing all of these things while working on ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’, and never has the juggling of tasks been so seamless. In a press statement, Van Etten said “this record is about pursuing your passions”. And that’s exactly what she’s done. Along with the idea of being more present, and getting mindless niggling things away and done with, this record is also about taking control of your own destiny.

A broader selection of instruments also plays its part in changing the pace of her new work. Putting down the guitar, she gravitated towards a synthesisers and organs in her down time from writing the score for Katherine Dieckmann’s film Strange Weather. When it comes to writer’s block, a change can be as good as a rest, and inspiration was rife when stepping away from the six string and sitting down at the keys.

‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ takes a darker tone than some of her previous outings. From the eerie and unexplained opening lyrics of “holy shit, you almost died”, to the menacing, anthemic lead single Comeback Kid, it’s clear to see the influence of the greats on Van Etten: nostalgic Seventeen harks back to ‘80s Bruce Springsteen with huge power percussion and flawless production. 

She also cites Suicide, Portishead and Nick Cave’s ‘Skeleton Tree’ as references for the brooding Jupiter 4 and spectral Memorial Day—the repetitive brass motif on the latter is so infiltrating it will haunt your dreams—bringing a subdued, intimate and almost gothic atmosphere to the record. Combining that with blistering pop sensibilities, newfound synths and complicated layering is a bold move, but she owns it, creating her most mature and intelligent work yet.

Sharon Van Etten Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu March 21 2019 - BIRMINGHAM Birmingham The Mill
Fri March 22 2019 - MANCHESTER Albert Hall
Sat March 23 2019 - DUBLIN Vicar Street
Sun March 24 2019 - GLASGOW St Luke's
Tue March 26 2019 - LONDON Roundhouse
Wed March 27 2019 - BRISTOL SWX

Click here to compare & buy Sharon Van Etten Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

Related News

Sharon Van Etten Adds Summer UK Dates To 'Remind Me Tomorrow' Tour
Tue 05 Feb 2019
Photo: Ryan Pfluger Sharon Van Etten has added four UK shows to her Remind Me Tomorrow World Tour.
Sharon Van Etten Embraces New York In Video For Nostalgic New Single Seventeen
Tue 08 Jan 2019
Sharon Van Etten has released another new single.
Sharon Van Etten Premieres Black And White Video For New Track Jupiter 4
Tue 27 Nov 2018
Sharon Van Etten has premiered the video for her new track, Jupiter 4.
Cate Le Bon - Reward (Album Review)
Tue 04 Jun 2019
Photo: Ivana Kličković Cate Le Bon has never been easy to pin down. Having toured and collaborated with a diverse selection of musicians ranging from St. Vincent to Deerhunter, the Welsh musician and producer could loosely be described as trading in sprawling alt-folk, but that would only tell half the story. On her newest record, ‘Reward’, Le Bon creates a unique world indebted to new wave and jazz as much as it is to contemporary pop and folk acts—all with her own idiosyncratic twist.
Black Mountain - Destroyer (Album Review)
Fri 07 Jun 2019
Photo: Olivia Jaffe Black Mountain’s fifth studio album, ‘Destroyer’, comes in the wake of line-up changes that threw the band’s future into doubt. Following the amicable departure of founding drummer Josh Wells and vocalist Amber Webber, Stephen McBean and Jeremy Schmidt began working on new music that might have eventually fallen under a new name. But that wasn’t to be.
The Hives Announce First Album In Seven Years, Release New Track I'm Alive
Fri 17 May 2019
The Hives are back!
Thurston Moore Announces New Album 'Spirit Counsel'
Fri 17 May 2019
Ahead of his upcoming London show, Thurston Moore has announced a new album.
House Parties To Headliners: Foals' Guitar Riffs Through The Ages
Mon 10 Jun 2019
In the 10 years since Foals released their debut album, ‘Antidotes’, Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith and Edwin Congreave have naturally evolved.
< Prev   Next >