Artist: Sharon Van Etten
“I had a thought you would take me seriously,” sings Sharon Van Etten on “Serpents,” the third track on “Tramp.”
She’s speaking of a relationship, but it works as a mission statement for her first album for Jagjaguwar as a whole.
Cut in the garage studio of The National’s Aaron Dessner, Van Etten recruits other notables in the indie rock circuit, including Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner and Beirut’s Zach Condon, to exorcise her relationship demons via a collection of folk and indie rock.
After a blistering opening few tracks, including the single, “Serpents,” the album drags a bit in the middle. After the lift of “Leonard,” things come to a screeching halt with “In Line,” which doesn’t go anywhere.
The parts of “Tramp” that work, however, are gorgeous. Van Etten is tender, sullen and revealing throughout the course of her third LP. It’s the sort of record that demands multiple listens to fully sample and appreciate.
With bigger production, fuller, richer compositions and an expanded musical vision, it’s no surprise more listeners are taking Van Etten seriously thanks to “Tramp.”
Our Music Year is Daily Republic popular culture writer Nick DeCicco’s yearlong online review in 2012 of albums he had previously not listened to. The reviews will appear in print on their corresponding days during 2013. Reach him at 427-6966 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ndeciccodr.