The word “tramp” has never been synonymous with beauty. But singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten has turned the word around to title her newest record. With Tramp, Van Etten manages something beautiful. She explores intense personal territory with entrancing tunes, matching emotional lyrics with layers of instrumentation that create a thick, almost dream-like sonic atmosphere. She recently took the time to talk to assistant Diversions editor Allison Hussey about the new record, her time on the road and women in the music business.
DIVERSIONS: What would you say the biggest differences are between Tramp and your earlier material?
SHARON VAN ETTEN: I think the content is a lot more confident, and I’m a lot more secure with who I am and what I’m doing. Also, I show a broader range of emotion, whereas before I only really … it was mostly sad, whereas now I feel like it’s more … I’m letting myself be angry. I’m not afraid to show people that I can be happy. It sounds simple, but it’s a broader range of emotion on this record. But also, sonically, we set the mood more with drones and sustains and random arrangements that I probably would have never done on my own.
h6 (liner mb). SVE AT CAT’S CRADLE:
Time: 9 p.m. Sunday
Location: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
DIVE: What has been your best experience on the road so far?
SVE: Finding the best swimming holes with my band when we have down time or when we need a break from the van. We found this really awesome website called swimmingholes.org, and I think it was actually on the border of North Carolina when we found it last fall. There was this really amazing truck stop that we found that had a really incredible pier, just a dock right off of the rest stop. Sometimes that’s just the best thing, when you’re kind of cooped up in a van and you’re kind of getting tired of each other, and all of a sudden you see this lake in the middle of nowhere and you kind of forget where you are for a minute. Moments like that are pretty great.