Don't Do It
Sharon Van Etten is one of the most inspiring new singer-songwriters to make her presence known in the 2000s. Her 2010 release Epic is titled as a sly nod to the fact that her music is not dependent on grandiose visions to get its sweet points across. “A Crime” is a gorgeous piece of longing. It brings us Van Etten’s voice at its purest and loneliest. A great thing, since her voice is an immediately gratifying instrument. “Peace Signs” throws together a band. The clang gives Van Etten a stronger push and the drums stalk her to the finish line. “Save Yourself” has that nasty country seduction, so sly and sleepy like Cat Power or Hope Sandoval at her best. “DsharpG” adds a zoning drone from a harmonium to her hypnotic crooning. “Don’t Do It” injects harmonies that threaten to break through the clouds. “One Day” throws in some slashing guitar chords and could, with a larger production, be something nearing a mainstream hit. But Van Etten prefers the shadows and her brilliance is creating excitement within her dark chambers.