Sharon Van Etten On Triple J

Later this year, Sharon Van Etten will open for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on tour in America. And on a recent radio session for Australia’s Triple J Radio, Van Etten covered one of her future tourmates’ songs: The haunting misanthropy ballad “People Ain’t No Good,” from 1997′s The Boatman’s Call. (SVE and the Triple J hosts get some yuks out of the fact that it also appeared on the Shrek 2 soundtrack.) Van Etten’s cover is a spare and mesmerizing thing; she’s the rare singer who can muster up the sort of gravity a Nick Cave song demands. Watch the performance below.

Van Etten’s album Tramp is out now on Jagjaguwar.

Comments (4)
  1. I always find myself bored by artists that cover Nick Cave and pick the blandest, most entry-level songs to cover when there is such a wealth of jawdropping material from the Bad Seed catalog to pick from if you dig a little deeper.

  2. I thought this was absolutely beautiful and I am now super thrilled to hear her open for Nick Cave in April! :D Also, in response to the prior comment, I don’t think anything that Nick Cave has done could be called “bland.” Just because something is slower, or uses less intricate language, does not make it boring. His music, this song specifically, brings up emotions, real feeling. I think Sharon was able to capture that. Kudos to her.

    • Have you listened to Nocturama? You’ll find a picture of that album if you look up “bland” in a dictionary. I’ve been an active apologist for that album for the longest time, and even I have to admit that.

      Not that the above song comes from that album, but my point remains. I’d be a hell of a lot more interested if she had picked something a little less by-the-numbers when deciding on one particular song to cover off Cave’s entire back catalog, instead of opting for one of his more accessible and unchallenging songs.

      And it has nothing to do with the song being “slow”. Some of his most haunting and memorable work has been and continue to be ballads.

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