A lot has happened since Sharon Van Etten’s last album, Are We There, in 2014. The songwriter has appeared on a popular Netflix show, gone back to university, and had a baby.
So it’s no surprise that she’s taken a different approach to her latest release, Remind Me Tomorrow.
The standout track is Jupiter 4, with its booming slow drums cutting through the dark and chaotic atmosphere created by a heavy sub bass and brooding drone. Hands has a similar aesthetic, with a big, distorted chorus.
But there are brighter tracks, too. Lead single Comeback Kid has a thumping beat, and she reels off the lines, “Hey you’re the comeback kid/See me look away/I’m the runaway/I’m recovering,” as if she were fronting The Killers.
Seventeen has a similar vibe, with Van Etten writing a love letter to her younger self over a simple, driving country rock track, evoking the same kind of storytelling as Bruce Springsteen.
This is a solid album; but in gaining so many positive life experiences, she’s lost some of the emotional impact of her earlier records, meaning the gut-wrenching moments we’ve come to expect from this comeback kid are a little more sparing.