Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sharon Von Etten Is No Tramp

No one's ever really replaced the gap left by Mazzy Star. Their twangy, rustic, lovelorn pop is the stuff of legends and for whatever reason no one has ever tried to fit in the space left by them. That is until now. I think I've found a suitable replacement for Hope Sandoval and her name is Sharon Von Etten. Her album Tramp sounds as if it were blown across my desk like tumbleweed and it's got that same lovelorn dreariness that made Mazzy Star such a great band.

With a dramatic, hazy, and perpetually sad sounding voice, Von Etten's songs sound as if they were held together by her heartstrings and given too much stress might just all fall apart. Tramp is exceptionally fragile stuff and while not quite as dreamy as Mazzy Star, the haunting melodies this album contains would probably fascinate Hope Sandoval endlessly. Tramp is ghostly wondrous stuff that slowly sweeps you off your feet and penetrates your dreams. It's a delicate intricately woven album whose drama and fragility make the album well worth a listen.

Softly strummed guitars, barely there drumming, and Von Etten's unearthly vocals create the fragile atmospherics this album thrives on. This isn't the feel good album of the year and one gets the feeling that it never wanted to be. Introspective, spooky, beautiful, and fascinating Tramp is the kind of record you just sit and listen to. Sharon Von Etten has a done a fantastic job of conveying the exquisite and graceful nature of her songs and does a wonderful job of making lovelorn music sound tolerable a lot like Mazzy Star.

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