Live Video: Sharon Van Etten

photo by Charina Pitzel (view set)

If Sharon Van Etten were a different person, her brutal honesty would be too much to bear. On her terrific new album, Are We There (read our review of it here), no painful moment, self-critique or regret is too deep to share… and there are real depths in her songs! But just as her songs never dwell in melancholy, Sharon herself is such bright light and an entrancing beauty in sound and spirit that she’s a joy to hear and watch perform. Plus, she’s one of the goofiest and most spontaneously funny people you’ll ever meet. In fact, she’s so accessible that we picked her as the locus of “on-the-fly” programming we called Six Degrees of Sharon Van Etten Day last summer. We were thrilled, of course, to have her return to KEXP recently to perform songs from Are We There with her band — longtime collaborator Doug Keith on guitar, Brad Cook of Megafaun on bass, Darren Jessee of Ben Folds Five on drums and Heather Woods Broderick on keys and providing amazing harmonies — for one of the most stunning sessions this year. Hurt so good with SVE!

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