The shimmering sound of Tramp both defies and illuminates the unsteadiness of a life in flux. Throughout the 14 months of scattered recording sessions, Van Etten was without a home -- crashing with friends and storing her possessions between varied locations. The only constant in Van Etten's life during this time was spent in the garage studio of The National's Aaron Dessner.
A two-year journey brought her to that point of instability. Upon the release of the intricate, understated epic, Van Etten surprised the music world with a touching embrace. Coming off the release of her spartan first effort, Because I Was In Love (2009, Language of Stone), Van Etten created a short album of diverse songs connected by a shared goal of an expanded sound and her unmistakable voice. Since epic’s release, she has opened the Pitchfork Music Festival, played The Hollywood Bowl with Neko Case and at Radio City Music Hall with The Antlers, sung on new records for Beirut and Ed Askew, and collaborated with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon and Megafaun on the Songs Of The South project.
After hearing Van Etten's instantly unmistakable voice early on, Dessner covered epic's "Love More" with Justin Vernon. When Van Etten found out, she contacted Dessner, and almost immediately they formed plans for working together. Dessner offered both a location for Van Etten to record new songs, as well as the opinions of a wise producer.
One year later, Van Etten unveils Tramp. It contains as much striking rock as pious, minimal beauty; it can be as emotionally combative as it can sultry. Contributions from Matt Barrick (Walkmen), Thomas Bartlett (aka Doveman), Zach Condon (Beirut), Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak), Julianna Barwick, and Dessner himself add a glowing sheen to the already substantial offering.
Van Etten will play shows with Shearwater and The War On Drugs all over North America throughout February / March and will confirm European dates shortly.