Sharon Van Etten, Live In Concert: Newport Folk 2012
Nothing about the wounded confessionalism of Sharon Van Etten's early work even begins to portend rock stardom: All raw nerves and whispered coos, 2009's Because I Was in Love explores tiny, tentative moments with a sort of graceful vulnerability. Ever since, Van Etten has kept adding layers of sinew to her sound, to the point where she's become a bona fide blood-and-guts rock 'n' roll frontwoman. Between 2010's epic and this year's Tramp, she's discovered who she wants to be, and begun to sing like someone who knows how to get there.
That metamorphosis has been remarkable to witness, in part because the songs keep becoming bigger, richer, better — all while holding on to the intimacy with which she built her name. On stage, backed by a full band and ace utility player Heather Broderick, Van Etten captures that mix perfectly: She alternately exudes quiet confidence, sweet shyness and bold aggression, depending on a given song or moment, and never lets her audience's attention lag. Sharon Van Etten performs here as part of the 2012 Newport Folk Festival, recorded live on Saturday, July 28 in Newport, R.I.
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