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Sharon Van Etten visited us at almost this exact same time last year, right after SXSW, where she had won over a legion of new followers. Back with a bunch of new songs, Sharon showed a new confidence that makes her understated songs shine without any bells and whistles – just her voice. She comes across as both tough and sweet, smiling between songs and telling stories about how and when they were born.

Serpents” was the first song she wrote on electric guitar. “Leonard” was written while she was crashing at her friend Kevin’s house but listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen.

In fact, her nomadic life inspired the name of her album, “Tramp”. She put all her things in storage, keeping bare necessities in her car. And when she wasn’t touring, she stayed with friends, family or got a sublet. She made a conscious decision to live this way while writing her next record and wanted to be sure it didn’t come across like she was forced into homelessness to record. Inspiration comes from all places and it’s interesting to see the paths people take to get there.

Check out the full session in the archives here and go see her live at the Avalon tonight!

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Sharon Van Etten Live on KCRW – Set List

Warsaw

Atlantic

Give Out

Serpents

Leonard

All I Can

Life of His Own

Save Yourself

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