Rory Buccheri | Tue, 5 Feb 2019
A mix of indie rock and folk vibes, Sharon Van Etten’s fifth album Remind me Tomorrow boldly states that there is no rush to open up, not for the artist nor the record. Some flowers blossom slowly, one note at the time, yet with the strength of a hurricane. I am surprised to find out that every song of the album is interconnected, yet it creates an entire world of its own, making the album remarkable and a significant step in Sharon’s bloom and evolution as an artist.
This is how Remind Me Tomorrow cracks the surface of the ice. Starting with “I Told You Everything”, Sharon’s voice, subtle yet unbreakable, repeats a brief, profound confession throughout the song. After the first, slower notes, the chorus gives birth to the purest tones in her voice one beat at a time. As the heartbeat increases, the arrangement changes.
One of the strongest tracks, “No One’s Easy To Love” comes right after the mellow earthquake of “I Told You Everything” and precedes the crashing waves of “Memorial Day”. It’s a bold statement of the American artist. It has experimental touches, transitioning towards one arrangement to the other, it has poetry: it has everything it takes to be one of the finest tracks of the album.
The record takes us to occupy a whole new position in the universe with “Jupiter 4”. The singer’s poetry is slow and corrosive and relies on her elegant yet strong voice. “Seventeen” is the cherry on top. The second extract of the album after “Comeback Kid”, it shows Sharon’s connection with her past albums interwoven with her growth as an artist. What’s more, the arrangement is more than a mouthful of dissonant tones and experimenting: it’s whimsy, outrageous, idiosyncratic.
There’s no space for mainstream when Sharon Van Etten is in the room: “Hands” grasps you before you know it and it takes you spiralling down towards “Stay”. Quiet, with the quality of a requiem, “Stay” is the closing track the of the album. It is a sincere, fluctuating lullaby the ends the album’s spectacular journey.