Sharon Van Etten – “Beaten Down”

Last year, Sharon Van Etten finally returned with Remind Me Tomorrow, her first album in five years. Not that she hadn’t been busy, building up a long list of extracurriculars — including an acting stint that continues with her guest role in Eliza Hittman’s Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Always, out this March. But now her music life is back in full swing, too, with another tour behind Remind Me Tomorrow stretching through this spring. And ahead of that, she’s shared a brand new song called “Beaten Down.”

It would’ve been easy to expect a track called “Beaten Down” on one of Van Etten’s older releases, the ones that dealt headlong with all kinds of strife. But it seems to emerge from the same passage Remind Me Tomorrow catalogued — settling into domestic life and motherhood, finding new homes. “‘Beaten Down’ is about love, patience, and empathy,” Van Etten said in a press release. “It’s about making life-changing choices and remaining strong enough to see them through.”

The track also comes with a video directed by Nicky and Juliana Giraffe, featuring Van Etten alongside dancers Allison and Veronica Huber. “Our goal was to create a striking and psychedelic video set in the California desert, a welcoming of Sharon’s next chapter here,” the Giraffes said. “Upon hearing the song, our minds automatically drifted into stark black and white, fever dreams, dark silhouettes contrasted against a barren desert landscape. Our intention was to give Sharon’s song and performance space to breathe and echo. It was important to us that the dancers were strongly connected and we’re so lucky to have worked with the talented Huber Twins on this project.”

Like Remind Me Tomorrow, “Beaten Down” was recorded with John Congleton. It has some of the same cool, synth-driven textures of the album, but there’s also something much brighter in the chorus, Van Etten sounding more freed than defeated as she sings her way around the words “beaten down.” This isn’t such a surprise given who we’re talking about, but the melody is strikingly beautiful. Check it out below.

TOUR DATES:

04/17 – Baltimore, MD @ Ram’s Head Live
04/18 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
04/19 – North Charleston, SC @ High Water Festival
04/20 – Saxapahaw, NC @ Haw River Ballroom
04/22 – Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
04/24 – New Orleans, LA @ Civic Theatre
04/25 – Fort Worth, TX @ Fortress Festival
04/26 – Austin, TX @ Stubb’s
04/28 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
05/22 – Boston, MA @ Boston Calling
07/29 – New York, NY @ Central Park SummerStage (w/ Real Estate, Grace Ives)