Sharon Van Etten, Remind me Tomorrow

Indie-folk songstress Sharon Van Etten made a return to the limelight last month with the release of her fifth studio album entitled Remind Me Tomorrow(released on Jagjaguwar). This new addition to the singer-songwriter’s catalogue, though dark and edgy at the core, brings out a different side of Van Etten, with a more in-depth outlook supported by a contemporary sound that features more layers and electronic instrumentation than her earlier work.

This is the New Jersey native’s first musical release in almost five years; during that time she stepped away from the studio to focus on school, acting duties and her newborn baby. This break from music was apparently exactly what she needed, as she has come back with ten new tracks that oscillate between calm and stormy energy. 

The album opens with the sombre “I Told You Everything”, where she is recalling what seems to have been a near-death experience and serves as a good indicator of what will follow. She then drops the hammer with the head-bopping anthem “No One’s Easy To Love”, a muse-inspired tale, where she continues to showcase her vulnerable side backed by an infectious groove. 

After giving it a thorough listen, the album becomes more revealing and stands out as a memoir. She ditches the cryptic lyrics and open interpretations she has accustomed us to in the past—and opts for a more relatable and straight-forward approach. 

On the up-tempo fourth track “Comeback Kid”, she builds up a storm of teenage angst and rebellion with the distinguishable melody and the lyrics “I'm the runaway, I'm the stay out late”. This sets the tone for the next couple of tracks as she recounts a past toxic relationship and falls into an emotional coma. 

The seventh track “Malibu” is a piano ballad of two runaways, which reflects the bitter sweetness of a careless time as she hums the words “We held hands as we passed the truck just a couple of dudes who don't give a fuck”. At this point the album has really slowed down but not enough to lose interest. It quickly bounces back on the following track “You Shadow”, which features loud drums and heavy synths that accompany a jaded Van Etten, who subtly borrowed Allison Mosshart’s fierceness to manifest her dislike of fake people by chanting “You ain't nothing, you never won”.

The album eventually closes with “Stay“, a dreampop-infused finale that serves as the light at the end of the tunnel. Though I wouldn’t call it the pièce de résistance in this record, it shows an empathetic side of the singer-songwriter that allows her to send a positive message across without sounding too preachy.

Considering her last two albums (Tramp in 2012 and Are We There in 2014) ran on a more stripped-down vein, Remind Me Tomorrow comes off as Van Etten’s most accomplished album to date. The change of sound and balance between intimate and atmospheric songs are clear signs of the singer-songwriter’s growing artistry, and the resulting ten tracks are pieces that fans will relate to as much as they will enjoy them.


 Essential tracks: “No One’s Easy To Love”, “Comeback Kid”, “You Shadow and Stay”.