Sharon Van Etten

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Sharon Van Etten
I Don’t Want to Let You Down
Jagjaguwar
by David Chiu

The follow-up to last year’s Are We There, Sharon Van Etten’s latest EP builds the anticipation of more new music from the acclaimed singer/songwriter. It’s a continuation of Van Etten’s intimate yet emotional music, touching on the complicated themes of introspection and relationships. With its rootsy sheen and urgent, driving beat, the title song is the obvious standout single, but the other fine tracks on the EP stand on their own: the Gothic-sounding ballad “Just Like Blood” is both sensuous and haunting as is also the melancholy and wrenching “Pay My Debts.” The gospel-like, hymnal “I Always Fall Apart” is starkly confessional with the refrain of “It’s not my fault, it’s just my flaw, it’s who I am,” furthering conveying that sense of yearning. The EP concludes with a powerful live performance of the folkish “Tell Me,” a song that appeared on the expanded edition of Tramp. While it only contains five songs, I Don’t Want to Let You Down feels like a complete work in itself and hopefully the harbinger of another great full-length from Van Etten to come.

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