Best Album I Forgot Came Out This Year: Sharon Van Etten – Tramp

Since my initial, incredibly impressed but seldom read impressions of Sharon Van Etten’s most recent album, Tramp, she has released a deluxe edition that includes demos, journal entries, and a self portrait scribble, as if you needed more reasons to bring this album home. She’s a poet, but she’s never quick to speak, if she speaks at all. The most amazing thing about Tramp, and maybe this is just where I am, but is the incredible sense of melancholy it drives through your heart while always standing next to you, helping you up when you need it. This isn’t about coming to terms with the end of your perceived everything, it’s that period in-between, after the overwhelming joy, after the complete submission to depression, but before the acceptance. It’s bipolar in the best (worst?) ways possible. Yes, I’m aware of the big name “indie rock” “legends” across the album, with names from Beruit and The National among the ranks, but fuck all of them. None of them, except for Zach Condon’s ukulele, mean anything to the album. When they do pop up their heads, all I want to know is when Sharon is coming back, where she went, and why she left me alone with these crazy people I don’t know. I’m standing in this fucking room, at a party I thought I’d have a good time at, the only person I know is the host who is obviously busy and overworked, maybe I can help out in the kitchen? There must be something I can do here, just keep your eyes looking straight ahead but don’t look at anyone, look past them all, watch the door for no one. Don’t turn off that light! It’s not safe to go out there alone.

Recommended Track: Serpents