Sharon Van Etten

A force of nature at the height of her powers, Sharon Van Etten brings her full band down under in the wake of her brilliant new album, We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong

SHARON VAN ETTEN TOUR DATES:

SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE CONCERT HALL: THURSDAY DECEMBER 1
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BRISBANE:  THE TIVOLI: SATURDAY DECEMBER 3
special guest: BATTS
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FREMANTLE ARTS CENTRE: MONDAY DECEMBER 5 
special guest: Banjo Lucia
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MELBOURNE / NORTHCOTE THEATRE: THURSDAY DECEMBER 8
FRIDAY DECEMBER 9 * extra show by popular demand
special guest: BATTS
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This event is part of ALWAYS LIVE, a new state-wide celebration of contemporary live music supported by the Victorian Government through Visit Victoria.
Presented by ALWAYS LIVE, Triple R and Mistletone.

Mistletone presents Sharon Van Etten (Shazza to her mates), returning to Australia with her stunning touring band: Jorge Balbi on drums, Devon Hoff on bass, Teeny Lieberson on vocals and synths, and live musical director Charley Damski on synths and guitars.

Special guest for the Brisbane and Melbourne shows will be BATTS (Melbourne producer/singer-songwriter Tanya Batts), with whom Sharon recently collaborated on “Blue”, the first single from the new BATTS album The Nightline (out October 14 on Mistletone Records).

Sharon Van Etten has always been a wholehearted artist — the kind of songwriter who helps people make sense of the world around them. Her newest work concerns itself with how we feel, mourn, and reclaim our agency when we think the world – or at least, our world – might be falling apart. How do we protect the things most precious to us from destructive forces beyond our control? and how do we salvage something worthwhile when it seems all is lost? In considering these questions and her own vulnerability in the face of them, Van Etten creates a stunning meditation on how life’s changes can be both terrifying and transformative; articulating the beauty and power that can be rescued from the wreckage.

Alongside her impeccable back catalogue, with such undeniable classics as Remind Me Tomorrow (“an album of hope, intimacy and perseverance” – NEW YORK TIMES) and Are We There (“one of the great albums of the century”– ROLLING STONE),  Van Etten has collaborated with COURTNEY BARNETT, ANGEL OLSEN and NORAH JONES, as well as Melbourne’s own BATTS; and last year released epic ten, a tribute to her 2019  album epic, with covers by everyone from Lucinda Williams and Fiona Apple to Idles; celebrating Sharon’s legendary status as one of the great songwriters from the very beginning. 

As always, we are at the mercy of Van Etten’s voice: the way it loops and arcs, the startling and emotive warmth of it. What started as a certain magic in Sharon’s early recordings has grown into confidence, clarity and wisdom, even as she sings with the vulnerable beauty that has become her trademark. Sharing her songs remains an optimistic and generous act which tells a larger story of hope, loss, longing and resilience; all held together by Sharon’s uncanny ability to both pierce the hearts of her listeners and make them whole again.

When the time came to return to her solo work, Van Etten reclaimed the reins, writing and producing the album in her new recording studio, custom built in her family’s Californian home. The more she faced – whether in new dangers emerging or old traumas resurfacing – the more tightly she held onto these songs and recordings, determined to work through grief by reasserting her power and staying squarely at the wheel of her next album. In fact, that interplay of loss and growth became a blueprint for what would become We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong. The album artwork reflects that, too, inspired as much by Sharon’s old life as her new one. “I wanted to convey that in an image with me walking away from it all. Not necessarily brave, not necessarily sad, not necessarily happy..” 

Sharon’s new work is intensely personal, exploring themes like motherhood, love, fear, what we can and can’t control, and what it means to be human in a world that is wracked by so much trauma. We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong is as much a reflection on how we manage the ending of metaphorical worlds as we do the ending of actual ones: the twin flames of terror and unrelenting love that light up with motherhood; navigating the demands of partnership when your responsibilities have changed; the loss of centre and safety that can come with leaving home; how the ghosts of our past can appear without warning in our present; feeling helpless with the violence and racism in the world; and yes, what it means when a global viral outbreak forces us to relinquish control of the things that have always made us feel so human, and seek new forms of connection to replace them.

Sharon Van Etten’s Melbourne show is part of ALWAYS LIVE, a new state-wide celebration of contemporary live music supported by the Victorian Government through Visit Victoria.