Sharon Van Etten

The Brooklyn songwriter Sharon Van Etten is like a tamer version of Fiona Apple--she doesn't come off quite as maddened as the gloriously unhinged Apple, but her songs contain a subtler form of rage and passion. Van Etten is a confessional writer; she's openly talked about her broken relationships, including one abusive ex-boyfriend who used to break her guitars and tell her she wasn't good enough to play out. The guy must have been an idiot as well as an asshole--Van Etten's songs poetically transform loss and disappointment into lovely paeans sung in her crystalline voice; she comes off as mournful but also admirably self-composed and even a little bit triumphant. On "Serpents," the ravishing first single from her third album, this year's Tramp, she spits, "You enjoy sucking on dreams/So I will fall asleep/With someone other than you." With The War On Drugs. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Sun., March 25, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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