The Muse: Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”


Sharon Van Etten – “Serpents”

Singer-songwriters’ public closeups rarely get more ominous than this. Van Etten’s vibrato has hints of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s human singing-saw qualities, though the moaning, bluesily layered chorale she comprises on “Serpents” sounds more like Layne Staley stomping out an Arcade Fire anthem. Come to think of it, the mantra “Serpents in my mind/ Trying to forgive your crimes” isn’t that far off from Alice in Chains either, who should be remembered as rather swampy and hypnotic in their day as well.

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