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Although she was born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Sharon Van Ettens folk music evokes the open landscapes and lonely expanses of Middle America. A dedicated choir student during her childhood, she began writing songs on her guitar as a high-school student and, upon moving to New York, started playing them in concert. Van Etten signed with the Chicago-based indie label Drag City and issued her intimate, official debut, Because I Was in Love, in spring 2009, followed by the lush, more band-oriented Epic in 2010. Van Etten signed to Jagjaguwar in late 2010 and began working with the National's Aaron Dessner as producer for her third album, Tramp; it was released in early 2012.
Sharon Van Etten is an American singer-songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York.
Van Etten was born and raised in New Jersey where she attended North Hunterdon High School. She moved to Tennessee to attend Middle Tennessee State University, where she discovered a variety of influential music. After moving back home to New Jersey, Van Etten was encouraged by Kyp Malone of TV on the Radio to pursue a career in music.
Her official debut, Because I Was In Love was released in spring 2009. In April 2009, Van Etten performed vocals and guitar for the song "Coming Home" written by Jeremy Joyce for the feature film "Woman's Prison." In August 2009, she appeared on the critically acclaimed album Hospice by The Antlers performing vocals on the track "Thirteen". In January 2010, Van Etten was a featured artist on Weathervane Music's Shaking Through Web Series. On September 21, 2010 she released her second album Epic. She also contributed backing vocals to The National's song "Think You Can Wait" from the soundtrack to the film Win Win in 2011.
Van Etten joined The National for thirteen European tour dates in February–March 2011, and at the 2011 MusicNOW Festival in Cincinnati. She opened for The National again at the Hollywood Bowl (with Neko Case) in September 2011 and the Beacon Theatre in December 2011. In May 2012 Van Etten played alongside The Walkmen, Beirut, St. Vincent, The Antlers, Atlas Sound, and others at the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Her third studio album, Tramp, was released on February 7, 2012 on Jagjaguwar. Tramp was produced by The National's Aaron Dessner, and recorded in his studio over a period of several months. After the release of the album, she will embark on a tour beginning in Philadelphia. The album features guest appearances from Aaron Dessner, Bryce Dessner, Matt Barrick, Zach Condon, and Jenn Wasner. In regard to the album's guest appearances, Van Etten told American Songwriter magazine, "People may think 'They got this star-studded cast,' but what it boils down to is that they’re friends that wanted to participate on this record." "Tramp" debuted at No. 75 on the Billboard 200 charts.
In January 2013 Van Etten performed at John Cale's tribute to Nico, A Life Along the Borderline, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. She opened for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds's North American tour in March/April of 2013 and even assumed backing vocal duties for the legendary Australian band.
Critical Reception 
Van Etten's songs were described by the music website Pitchfork Media as having "echoes of folk tradition." NPR Music asserts: "Her songs are heartfelt without being overly earnest; her poetry is plainspoken but not overt, and her elegant voice is wrapped in enough rasp and sorrow to keep from sounding too pure or confident."