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Music / Sharon Van Etten

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Sharon Van Etten (born February 26, 1981) is an American singer-songwriter and actress known for her distinctive contralto and indie rock-folk sound. She began professionally releasing music in 2009, and has released six studio albums to date.


  1. Because I Was in Love (2009)
  2. Epic (2010)
  3. Tramp (2012)
  4. Are We There (2014)
  5. Remind Me Tomorrow (2019)
  6. We've Been Going About This All Wrong (2022)

Other musical endeavors of hers include being a featured vocalist on several other indie rock albums (notably three songs on The Antlers' Hospice) and a duet single with Angel Olsen ("Like I Used To").

Van Etten is also an occasional actress, appearing on The OA and the movies Never Rarely Sometimes Always and How It Ends.

Tropes in her music:

  • Bittersweet 17: The aptly-named "Seventeen", where the (now older) singer reminisces on being a fresh-faced seventeen-year-old.
    I used to be seventeen
    Now you're just like me
  • Break Up Song: The song "Love More" is about a bad relationship that has ended.
  • Cover Album: The ten-year anniversary rerelease of her album Epic included covers of the songs by other artists: Big Red Machine, IDLES, Lucinda Williams, Shamir, Courtney Barnett, St Panther, and Fiona Apple took one apiece.
  • Cue the Sun: Subverted in "Every Time the Sun Comes Up", where she sings that even when the sun comes up, her troubles don't go away.
  • Destructive Romance: "Your Love Is Killing Me"'s lyrics are clear that the relationship is incredibly toxic:
    Break my legs so I won't walk to you
    Cut my tongue so I can't talk to you
    Burn my skin so I can't feel you
    Stab my eyes so I can't see
    You like it when I let you walk over me
    You tell me that you like it
    Your love is killing me
  • Double Meaning: According to her, these lines from "Every Time the Sun Comes Up" can refer to either marijuana (she gets lightheaded when she has two-hits) and to her own career.
    People say I'm a One-Hit Wonderinvoked
    But what happens when I have two?
  • Location Song:
    • The song "Tarifa", named for a beachside town in Spain, where the singer and her new lover have jettisoned off to. The singer is enthralled by this new relationship but is ignoring the external problems that will make it hard for them to be together in the real world. Thus she romanticizes Tarifa as emblematic as the perfect honeymoon phase of their relationship.
    • In contrast, "Malibu" is about a less glamorous but more equal relationship, two lovers driving through Malibu, California.
  • Shadow Archetype: "You Shadow," in which she lambasts someone for copying everything she does.