2019, Music

Remind Me Tomorrow (2019) by Sharon Van Etten

I know Sharon Van Etten from her covers, but I really don’t know her music at all. I feel like her name has been in the musical ether forever but I have never taken any time to listen to her original music.

I do seem to know her voice at least a little bit. The moment she started singing, I was like “oh right, her” so clearly I’ve listened to enough of her covers that I do sort of, kind of know who she is.

She has a good sense of melody and most of the songs are pretty strong. One or two of them are catchier than others. I don’t know if it’s her songs or her voice but I really don’t hear too much of an echo of other songwriters.

I think, rather, that could be the quirky arrangements. So this gets labelled “trip hop” (which I would say it’s absolutely not) and “synth pop” (again, I wouldn’t say that at all) and I think that’s because the arrangements are kind of unclassifiable. There’s clearly a use of some of the instruments you would find in synth pop but used in a way more common to indie music. To the extent that there is a trip hop influence at all, I guess it’s in combining sounds that normally do not go together on a singer-songwriter record, I guess. (I mean, the drums often sound live, so, um, how is that like trip hop?) It’s possible that both of these genres have evolved so much since they debuted that I just don’t know what they sound like in 2019, or what the artists influenced by them sound like. But what I would say is that, for me, these quirky arrangements that pair indie rock/indie pop songs/aesthetic with influences from the UK in the ’80s and ’90s definitely feels fresh to me. It’s possible, in our post genre world, there are many people making music like this. But I don’t know how many.

I think it’s a cool record. It very much sounds like it’s own thing to me and I have trouble imagining someone else other than her making it.


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