Sharon Van Etten – Life of His Own

March 27, 2012

Sharon Van Etten used to say that writing and performing were forms of “self-therapy,” a descriptor that perfectly fits the tone of her work in that every Van Etten track, whether meant to be a private tune or a public opus, always makes you feel as though you are privy to something private — that you are a confidante of sorts. But “Life Of His Own,” the B-side of the Tramp single “Leonard,” finds Van Etten doing the usual rounds of emotional wrestling, except this time the power dynamics are slightly different. Suddenly, SVE, in her signature hollowed-out, balladic vocal style, seems to be singing out of a proverbial moment-of-clarity, realizing that she’s allowed to ask things of a life that has, thus far, done most of the asking. It’s a refreshing new side of Van Etten, an artist that has quickly staked out a chunk of territory in the collective audial conscious of the indie music world, and one that demonstrates versatility, and most importantly, growth.