Four years before she became a true critical darling with 2014’s Are We There, and six years before she also became known as an actress (Netflix’s The OA), Sharon Van Etten started breaking through to indie-rock fans with epic.
A short and bittersweet set of just seven songs, epic showcases Van Etten’s signature style of songwriting, cutting to the quick with emotional acuity and dramatically understated embellishment and revealing the strength that can come from being vulnerable and aware.
A decade later, the New Jersey-raised artist will celebrate her second album by performing it in its entirety as a concert with her band this weekend from Zebulon LA.
The venue will benefit from proceeds of the livestream in recognition of the role it played in shaping the artist’s career, which is the subject of a short documentary also touching on the making of epic that will immediately precede the concert.
The livestream, carried on the No Cap platform, also serves to celebrate epic Ten, a new double album being released Friday, April 16, that includes the original recordings plus one cover of each song by artists hand-picked by Van Etten to do the honors.
The package includes versions by Lucinda Williams (“Save Yourself”), Courtney Barnett with Vagabon (“Don’t Do It”), Big Red Machine (“A Crime”), IDLES (“Peace Signs”), and St. Panther (“One Day”). Also featured is the most inspired and striking of them all: Shamir, with his take on the drone-like “Dsharpg.”
“I was drawn to Shamir’s music by the immediate authenticity and originality of his voice and instrumentation choices. It felt simultaneously throwback and very here and now,” Van Etten said upon releasing Shamir’s cover late last month. “So many genres melting into one another, I couldn’t peg it and I loved every minute of the wild ride. Not to mention that his vocal range is from another universe and his arrangements are dark and stormy.”
The epic Ten livestream is Friday, April 16, at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. Visit www.sharonvanetten.com.
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