2011 has been a strong year for female singers. Currently, my three favorite albums are by Anna Calvi, Jessica Lea Mayfield, and Sharon Van Etten. **
Yes, I know Sharon’s album came out late last year, but my appreciation for it is somewhat new.
With only 7 songs on her sophomore release “Epic,” Sharon also dipped back into some older material for her performance today on Morning Becomes Eclectic. Jason and I just kept talking about how great her voice is, particularly on songs like “Peace Signs”, “One Day”, and “Save Yourself”.
“Epic” is a stripped down affair that allows her voice to shine but she says she’s experimenting more for her follow up, with The National’s Aaron Dessner handling production duties. Apparently she found out The National was a fan of her work before she ever met the band. She reached out and now they are not only collaborating on new material (Sharon offers background vocals on The National’s theme song for the film Win Win) but hitting the road. In fact, they are both on the bill for KCRW’s World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on September 11.
** a geeky fan note, I have now hugged two of my faves — Sharon actually offered the hug when I went in for a high-five and Jessica and I bonded at SXSW. Anna — you better come to the U.S. soon so I can hug you too! I’m totally harmless, promise 🙂
Don’t Do It