Just Call it a Comeback: Sharon Van Etten’s Remind Me Tomorrow

An Album Review by MJ. Catch her on-air every Tuesday from 1 PM – 2 PM on Revolution 91.7.

2019 has seen Americans dishing on  super moons, government shutdowns and Jordyn Woods, but the indie underground is steady streaming perhaps the biggest news this year has delivered yet—the release of Remind Me Tomorrow, the fifth full-length studio album release from the folk goddess herself, Sharon Van Etten.

While Van Etten bowed out of the spotlight for a time after 2015`s Are We There Yet, in the four years since her last album Van Etten has graced Netflix super natural thriller The OA, returned to college in pursuit of a psychcology degree, and gave birth to her first child.

But if you really want to know what she’s been up to, she dishes all in her most optimal album to date.

Van Etten’s fans have always regarded her for her atmospheric harmonies and poetically sultry pianos, and the new sound is a sexy as ever. Remind Me Tomorrow delivers all of the elements that hooked fans, with a freshly grated sprinkle of synthesizers and organs that adds a pop feel to songs like “Comeback Kid,” the first single.

Lines like “Yeah I’m the runaway / I’m the hardly stay / Let me slip away,” suggest a once hard-to-pin-down gal might be considering commitment, tying perfectly into the album’s theme. The 39-year-old is clearly comfortably in love, and this album depicts that in a way that’ll make ya want to do a little shimmy in the kitchen in your underwear, while you’re waiting for your bagel bites to cool.

“Jupiter 4” is eerily romantic, proclaiming “our love is for real” and giving listeners all the feels of euphoria felt in the arms of a secure relationship. It’s total “this is going to last a lifetime” vibes.

It awakens your 18-year-old self and inspires memories of creeping softly for a late night bathroom break, in an attempt to not wake your snoring partner. It leaves you aching for THAT all over again. Word on the street is that John Congleton produces this masterpiece, the same genius behind Phases by Angel Olsen, slanging a progressiveness that’s nothing if not stunning.

An open letter to New York City, “Seventeen,” is a sultry dance setup served with a side of Cindi Lauper-like chills. “Downtown hot spot / Halfway up the street / I used to be free / I used to be seventeen” signifies a tunnel back in time, reminiscing of both freedom and growing pains throughout innocent days.

“I see you so uncomfortably alone / I wish I could show you how much you’ve grown,” Van Etten piercingly trills. If life is like riding a train backwards,  so that only what’s behind us is visible, this tracks gives an all-knowing depiction that only a spiritual guru could match.

Remind Me Tomorrow is Sharon Van Ettens most tantalizing album yet, raw yet polished. She gets her grown woman on in a raw and sassy  storytelling mode with relatable insights into where she has been , where she is, and where she is going. Perhaps time has made my heart fonder, but maybe, just maybe, she truly is the ultimate comeback kid.

Review: BØRNS Returns with Blue Madonna

by Sarah Schulte

BØRNS released his sophomore album Blue Madonna last month as the follow-up to 2015’s Dopamine. While Dopamine is a glam-rock anthem, Blue Madonna dives into the soul behind the pin-striped suits and floral print: Garrett Borns.

This isn’t to say that Dopamine was shallow; in fact, tracks such as Past Lives and The Emotion reveal a romantic rawness. However, Blue Madonna expresses vulnerability in a new and searching way.

God Save Our Young Blood kicks off the 12-track LP. The song features crooner Lana del Rey, whose voice weaves smoothly around Borns’s, easing listeners into a dreamlike trance of nostalgia.

Borns’s self-described “lamentation of [his] morality” follows in the pulsing Faded Heart. The song expresses the inter-connectivity of the universe and humankind and how that relates to one’s perception of themselves. Heavy stuff. Regardless, you won’t be able to get it out of your head for weeks. Borns seems to have tapped into an otherworldly concoction of vocals and instrumentation.

Sweet Dreams is whimsical heartbreak. Featuring a hooting owl and various percussive effects, the song sets the stage for a starry night and the smell of burning incense. The soaring but soft vocals push the heartbroken toward closure with the words, “Consider this a lullaby, Bye and sweet dreams.”

Reminiscent of the instrumentation of The Beatles’ Within You Without You and the lyricism of Bowie, Borns’ We Don’t Care is different from anything else on the album. The song transports listeners to a beach in 1967, utilizing classic guitar tones and fuzzed out bass. Lyrics like “Shake off the shadows, freak out the phantom’s love” point to Borns’s taste for science fiction magazines and adds a playful mysticism that goes beyond anything Borns has touched before.

Man uses keyboard synths and picturesque lyricism to send listeners on a journey around the world. If you’re looking for something to dance to, this is the track for you. This contrasts nicely with Iceberg, during which Borns’s vocals grip listeners with an almost a cappella moment. The metallic guitar is jarring but necessary against the smooth Stranger Things-esque synth riff. It’s perfectly weird.

Meanwhile, the trap-like Second Night of Summer expresses the feeling of being left by one’s lover and is likely to be an anthem for the broken-hearted this Valentine’s Day. I Don’t Want U Back is the fitting follow-up for those who have recently recovered from heartbreak. Despite its empowering message, this track falls short of the rest of the album and is easily the most forgettable. Similarly, Tension is a minute-thirty interlude that feels like it could have been something but never got the chance. The idea is there, but it would have been more effective as a completed piece of music.

Much like I Don’t Want U Back, Supernatural is a smooth ride that fails to leave an impression. While it’s pleasant to listen to, that’s about all there is to it. On the other hand, the title track Blue Madonna is a sensual joyride enhanced by Lana del Rey’s background vocals. The imagery will leave your mouth watering.

Bye-bye Darling is the most organic piece of music on the album, and it’s a suitable choice to finish it. It feels like the end of a coming-of-age film that just radically transformed your life. You’ve laughed, cried, realized something about the world, and now you’re hearing this song. It feels like an end, but it also feels like starting over. Time to hit replay?

An Ultralight Dream: Kanye’s Pablo Tour

I love you like Kanye loves Kanye

“F— the Pope,” Kanye West muttered, after proclaiming that he had sold more merchandise than the head of the Catholic Church near the latter end of his two-hour, 31-song set at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena.

Well, I thought. He has a point.

After all, this is Yeezy’s world, and we’re just living in it.

Call it arrogance or blasphemy, but one cannot accurately call it a lie. Because indeed, he had.

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