Indie all-star at this point Sharon Van Etten had a productive COVID lockdown, releasing a slew of singles, from covers like Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” (QRO review) to her excellent team-up with Angel Olsen, “Like I Used To” (QRO review). Yet her first proper post-COVID (to the extent that we’re ‘post’ COVID…) is all previously unreleased material, the sadness of We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong.
Sharon Van Etten
has long been a sad artist, and that continues on Wrong, but what’s
notable is not just how well she does it, but also that she varies how she does
it. There’s much of the slow, tragic loss in songs like “Darkness Fades” and “Home
to Me”, but also bigger crushes of sorrow with “Anything” and “Headspace”. Even
her disco-inflected cool in “Mistakes” still goes downbeat.
‘Sad girl music’
(a term undoubtedly originated by a man…) is all the rage right now – these are
sad times, particularly for women – but it’s more than just that, a wide well
of emotion that Sharon Van Etten has Been Going About All right.