Sharon Van Etten's 'Tramp': Album Preview

Sharon Van Etten
Title: Tramp | Release Date: Feb. 7

Prior to her debut full-length, "Because I Was in Love" (Language of Stone, 2009), Sharon Van Etten worked for now-manager Ben Goldberg as an intern (and then as a paid employee) at Brooklyn-based Ba Da Bing! Records ( @badabingrecords). Meanwhile, on her off hours, the songwriter nurtured a music career and made friends with other local artists. "She was playing shows four nights a week, meeting people, then going home to write more every night," Goldberg says. "The thing about Sharon is she wants to understand everything about what she's doing."

Since Love, she's released the critically acclaimed seven-song EP "Epic" (Ba Da Bing!, 2010), headlined Brooklyn's Northside Festival, performed with Bon Iver and Iron & Wine and lent vocals to records by acts like the Antlers and the National.

Van Etten ( @sharonvanetten) isn't the typical singer/songwriter, and among those to notice was Jagjaguwar founder/president Darius Van Arman. In July 2011, he signed the New Jersey native, who joins the ranks of acts like Bon Iver and Okkervil River. "Sharon has this once-in-a-generation voice," Van Arman says. "We're just so lucky to work with artists like her."

Recorded in the Brooklyn studio of National guitarist Aaron Dessner, "Tramp" is Van Etten's masterwork, according to both Van Arman and Goldberg. Out Feb. 7, it features guest appearances by Dessner and brother/bandmate Bryce, as well as members of Beirut, Wye Oak and the Walkmen.

"She's finally got a full band behind her, too," Goldberg says, referring to the three musicians who now tour with Van Etten. "This record is Sharon at her most fully actualized."

Van Etten performs "Serpents" on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."

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