Brooklyn-based Sharon Van Etten has blown me away with her debut. A straight-up, all-out, gentle assault on the present blah-state of the folk genre. This is a stripped down, acoustic-driven series of love songs. They prove to be anything but average. She has a delicateness and intimacy that she shares with us that gently caress, and stimulate goose bumps. I almost feel like a voyeur into her little soul, as she vulnerably puts herself out there, opening up the tiny cabinet-sized doors to her soul. Reminiscent of lazy, drizzly days, of just gazing into the eyes of a lover, amidst the warmth of a snuggly blanket.
Apparently, Sharon has quite a musical background of piano, violin, clarinet, choirs, and roles in musicals. However, despite her plentiful extraverted involvement, she steps back from all the excitement and invites us into a more personal aesthetic. Slow, calm, moody…f***ing gorgeous…are all adjectives that come to mind. The rapid whirl of the CD in my stereo seems to contrast with the deliberate peace of each track. Her vocals are like an optimistic Matteah Baim, and the compositions are like a distant cousin to Cabinet of Natural Curiosities. I’m going to lay here for a little while and let Sharon’s voice embrace me with its audible beauty. I suggest you do too. 8/10 -- Dave Miller (20 August, 2009)