Sharon Van Etten’s voice is stunning. It’s that hollow, windy, whispering tone that always raises the hair on the back of my neck and makes me hold my breath when I hear it. In her songs, she also perfectly says the things I would like to say in a way that doesn’t sound forced at all. Listening to Sharon Van Etten is like listening to a beautiful conversation where you’re told everything you want to hear, even if the content is sad.
Here’s a song from Van Etten’s 2009 album Because I Was In Love. This song, “Holding Out,” starts with the beautiful lyrics:
“I was floored
by your humble outlook on the world around you,
who and all you are.
I was floored
by the way you take me seriously,
even when I’m joking.”
After these words, Van Etten releases a wail that is just her singing “Damn” in a stunned kind of way. This moment is heart-breaking. The pain and confusion in her voice is palpable. Additionally, the fondness she feels for this person and for his or her unassuming demeanor is apparent. As someone who has just lost a great friend, I am right there with her. Sharon Van Etten’s voice, and this song on repeat, is something that speaks to me right now, and really, all of her music has that personal grit to offer to her listeners. Please listen, enjoy, and check out her most recent release, Tramp, a gorgeous album as well.