Album Review Sharon Van Etten - We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong4-5 Stars
Very much the most mature Sharon Van Etten offering to date - and perhaps the most musically accomplished, too.
After spending much of the last couple of years looking back, having reissued her breakthrough ‘Epic’ last year for its tenth anniversary, Sharon Van Etten is now very much fixed firmly on the future. The records that followed; ‘Tramp’ in 2012 and 2014’s ‘Are We There’ established her further as one of the great modern indie rock songwriters and while ‘Remind Me Tomorrow’ in 2019 was a little bit of a diversion, focusing heavily on synths and electronics and a more brooding atmosphere, ‘We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong’ brings back guitars in a way that makes for sprawling soundscapes. Sharon declined to release any singles from the album prior to release, a rarity in an era of drip-feeding run-ups to albums, and even the cursory first few listens make it clear why; ‘We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong’ is clearly designed to be listened to of a piece, from the softly soaring opener ‘Darkness Fades’ to the lovelorn, acoustically-driven ‘Anything’ and the heart-rending minimalism of ‘Darkish’. Perhaps the standout moment acmes at the midpoint, in the form of ‘Born’, which builds slowly towards an epic, string-led conclusion. With a lyrical outlook that focuses on family and the uncertainty of the past two years (the affecting ‘Home to Me’, in particular, is written as a paean to her son), this is very much the most mature Sharon Van Etten offering to date - and perhaps the most musically accomplished, too.
Born of living through trauma and coming out the other side, "We've Been Going About This All Wrong' finds Sharon Van Etten attempting to write her own coping mechanisms.
Sharon Van Etten joins Angel Olsen to perform ‘Like I Used To’ at Pitchfork Music Festival
Watch the live performance from Chicago's Union Park now.
Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen perform ‘Like I Used To’ on Jimmy Fallon
Watch the TV debut of their new collaboration now!
Tracks: Bleachers, Sharon Van Etten & Angel Olsen, Japanese Breakfast and more
The pick of week’s new music also features newbies from Lucy Dacus, Holly Humberstone and Matt Maltese.