Q&A

Sharon Van Etten: Personal, But Not Too Personal

Sharon Van Etten's Tramp is a study in directness.

Beyond Van Etten's voice -- a clear, present, hum -- there are the sounds, sparse and focused, produced by of Aaron Dessner of The National. The record is centered on the idea of clarity, illustrated by song titles like "I'm Wrong," "We Are Fine," and "Give Out," and the record's cover: a stark a black-and-white portrait of Van Etten herself.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.