Are We There: 10 Year Anniversary Edition (Black, Grey, and Silver Tri-Colour Split Vinyl)



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Release Date: 28th June 2024

For all the attention that was paid to her 2012 breakthrough album, ‘Tramp’,
Sharon Van Etten returned to the studio ready and eager to turn another
corner, delve deeper, and write with more honesty and vulnerability than
ever. It’s a unique power of Van Etten’s; she creates a bond with the listener
that few contemporary musicians can match. The result of that effort was
‘Are We There’, a self-produced album of exceptional intimacy, sublime
generosity and immense breadth.

‘Are We There’ turns ten this year and reasserts itself as one of her most
powerful and timeless collections. It is clear from the opening chords in the
first song, ‘Afraid of Nothing’, that we are witnessing a new awareness, a
sign of Van Etten in full stride, writing, producing and performing from a place
that seems almost mythical, were it not so touchable and real. Always direct,
and never shying away even from the most personally painful narratives,
many of the songs deal with seemingly impossible decisions, anticipation,
and then resolution. She sings of the nature of desire, memory, of being lost,
emptiness, of promises and loyalty, fear and change, of healing and the true
self, violence and sanctuary, waiting, of silence.

Amidst all that truly brutal honestly, Van Etten finds moments of levity, as she
always does. ‘Every Time the Sun Comes Up’ started out as a lark but lifts
the album at its close, completes the world she’s let us into, and resets us
gently for whatever might follow. It has, since then, become an indelible
staple of Van Etten’s live shows.

It’s enough to live your music without taking on the role of producer as well,
but Van Etten knew it was time to make a record entirely on her terms. At the
same time, Van Etten did recognize this didn’t mean having to go it alone,
and she assembled a beloved, now-celebrated community to bring her vision
to life. To record, Van Etten found a kindred spirit in veteran music producer
Stewart Lerman. Originally working together on ‘Boardwalk Empire’, they
gently moved into new roles, rallying around the idea of making a record
together in Lerman’s studio in New Jersey. Lerman’s expertise gave Van
Etten the freedom to make ‘Are We There’ the way she imagined.

Van Etten also enlisted the individual talents of her band, consisting of
Heather Woods Broderick, Doug Keith and Zeke Hutchins, and brought in
friends Dave Hartley and Adam Granduciel from The War on Drugs,
Jonathan Meiberg (Shearwater), Jana Hunter (Lower Dens), Peter Broderick,
Mackenzie Scott (Torres), Stuart Bogie, Jacob C. Morris and Mickey Freeze.
The incomparable Richard Swift brought it all home, working with Van Etten
on the final mix.

The artist who speaks in such a voice is urging us to do something, to take
hold and to go deeper. Living in this way, the questions of life remain alive,
as close and steady as breathing. Many of the ballads of old are as dark as
pitch, and people for whom the issues of life and death were as vivid as
flame wrote them. You could turn off the electricity, remove all the
instruments and Sharon’s voice and words would remain, as powerful today
as ten years ago, and they’re sure to endure for years to come.


  1. Afraid of Nothing
  2. Taking Chances
  3. Your Love is Killing Me
  4. Our Love
  5. Tarifa
  6. I Love You But I’m Lost
  7. You Know Me Well
  8. Break Me
  9. Nothing Will Change
  10. I Know
  11. Every Time the Sun Comes Up