Sharon Van Etten is playing the last gig of her UK tour, a sell out performance at Stylus in Leeds with a crowd mixed with a sea of all ages awaiting her arrival.
Her latest album and tour of the same name, Remind me Tomorrow, has a different vibe and sound to her previous work as she conjures up a nostalgic mid-naughties electronic sound with catchy tunes reminiscent of the bygone indie-pop reign.
Entering the stage to the heady, atmospheric track ‘Jupiter 4′, we’re greeted by an intense introduction, with her signature sincere confidence. Van Etten jolting perfectly to the drum beat alongside a pulsing spot light.
The somewhat folky drawl has been put on the back burner for now, an atmospheric change which epitomised in the next track ‘Comeback Kid’. It’s sugary and tinkers with her playful side which is unusual in Van Etten’s lyrically jarring world.
Van Etten comes across shy in the snippets of audience interaction, drawing on the political climate briefly in her comments in between songs, but it is her electricity that drives the gig forward—a simple production with the instruments marrying together with the lyrics down to a T.
Van Etten’s voice travels perfectly through the venue. A uniformed sway takes over during ‘Seventeen,’ a palette cleanser amongst a emotionally charged gig which includes a haunting ‘Give Out’ and a piano cover of Sinéad O’Connor’s ‘Black Boys On Mopeds.’ Both executed simply, with a bubbling force. ‘Every Time the Sun Comes Up’ showcases her lyrical wit and is delivered with a melodic wave.
Bar a drunk heckler at the back, the audience seem completely hypnotised and the encore is welcomed with an understated rendition of ‘All I Can’ and a haunting fairwell of ‘’I Told You Everything’ rounded off the evening.
Sharon Van Etten’s voice surpasses her physical form, she’s a juggernaut of talent almost bartering with you to gulp a kind of personal emotion. And we do!
Words: Lily Douglas
Images: Simon Goldey
Sharon Van Etten, Stylus, Leeds Setlist:
‘No One’s Easy to Love’
‘Black Boys on Mopeds’ (Sinéad O’Connor cover)
‘Every Time the Sun Comes Up’
‘All I Can’
‘I Told You Everything’