#13 on the 2012 Musical Bacon Calendar
Tramp by Sharon Van Etten
Here comes another new artist to the Calendar for 2012. Up until two months ago, I’d forgotten about this album. Tramp came out towards the beginning of the year, and I was very excited about it. I even got to see Sharon Van Etten perform at SXSW a couple times, and she was fantastic both times. But then I returned to Seattle in mid-March, and somehow got distracted, putting this album on the proverbial shelf.
Rediscovering it in October, I was able to rekindle my love for Ms. van Etten and her sultry voice. She is yet another indie-rock performer out of Brooklyn, but don’t hold it against her. Her music is slow, but not annoyingly so. It’s as if the songs are slower in an effort to really help you feel where they’re coming from. This slowness, and the minor key that most of the songs are in, give the album a decidedly dark atmosphere that makes you want to cozy up to the fire with a stiff glass of 18-year single malt in your hand.
Tramp isn’t van Etten’s first album, and it definitely won’t be her last. She had two prior releases to this album, but those albums didn’t hit my radar. This album was helped along by a star-studded guest appearance cast. It was produced by Aaron Dessner (from the National), and featured him, his brother Bryce, and Zach Condon (from Beirut), among others, brought in to give Sharon a little bit of a push. Their influences are tough to pick out, with the exception of Condon’s, whose distinct upper-range warble can be heard throughout the fantastic duet “We Are Fine.”
Overall, this album is a winter album. Perhaps that’s why I neglected to listen to it after returning from Austin in March. And why I find it so appealing now. Give it a listen and judge for yourself.
14. Fear Fun by Father John Misty
15. Love This Giant by David Byrne and St. Vincent
16. To The Treetops! by Team Me
17. The Master: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Jonny Greenwood
18. There’s No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man On Earth
19. Transcendental Youth by The Mountain Goats
20. A Church That Fits Our Needs by Lost In The Trees
21. Hospitality by Hospitality
22. Free Dimensional by Diamond Rings
23. History Speaks by Deep Sea Diver
24. A Different Ship by Here We Go Magic
25. Negotiations by the Helio Sequence
26. Moms by Menomena
27. The Sound of the Life of the Mind by Ben Folds Five
28. Shields by Grizzly Bear
29. Every Child A Daughter, Every Moon A Sun by The Wooden Sky
30. Fragrant World by Yeasayer
31. Reign of Terror by Sleigh Bells