Sharon Van Etten, The Albert Hall Manchester
Released on January 18th 2019, Van Etten’s new album Remind Me Tomorrow was highly anticipated by fans who have followed her so devotedly from the beginning.
The album though shows Sharon doesn’t owe anyone anything they might expect. Her music has evolved into boisterous Patti Smith-esque 80’s underground sound with her trademark completely clean and at times ethereal vocals.
At the Albert Hall in Manchester on Friday she stayed true to her folk roots and played several tracks at the piano or alone with her guitar, harmonising with her band who moved seamlessly between real old school rock n roll through grunge and back to folk.
A cover of Sinead O’Connor’s poignant ‘Black Boys on Mopeds’ slotted beautifully into the centre of the night, commenting that she tries not to do political but in these times it’s hard not to.
It really feels like Van Etten has ‘let go’ with this album and the result is wind-your-windows-down- and-scream-along satisfying. Adding haunting drones and raw guitar solos to punchy and urgent bass lines have elevated her sound and honestly, it’s exciting.
Tracks like Comeback Kid and No One's Easy To Love were punchy, contrasting elegantly production-wise with I Told You Everything and Stay. There was an extended version of ‘Hands’ with extra... noise and it felt wild. It feels a bit like coming home to a party with all your favourite people that gets a little out of hand, but in a good way.
Her voice is so powerful and maturing all the time. She mentioned motherhood a few times over the course of the night, and clearly it’s changing her as an artist, everything feels more powerful and raw, but with an energy she didn’t have before somehow. Like there’s more direction.
Sharon Van Etten’s Remind Me Tomorrow tour continues all the way through festival season and I highly recommend you get yourself a ticket.