Big Red Machine – “A Crime” (Sharon Van Etten Cover)
Sharon Van Etten’s sophomore album, Epic, was a turning point in her career — her sound coming into clearer focus, the springboard from which she became one of the most beloved indie songwriters of her generation. It turned 10 last year, and Van Etten is going big with a belated celebration of the album’s birthday. Today she’s announced epic Ten, a double album reissue that features a bunch of artists covering each song from the album.
And the array of artists involved is pretty nuts. Courtney Barnett and Vagabon teamed up for “Don’t Do It.” Shamir chose “DsharpG.” Out of left field, IDLES are on here covering “Peace Signs.” Perhaps most incredibly, they got Lucinda Williams and Fiona Apple involved. We are all going to hear Fiona Apple sing “Love More.” None of us are ready for that.
“epic represents a crossroads for me as an artist,” Van Etten said in a statement. “Going from intern to artist at Ba Da Bing, from solo folk singer to playing with a band for the first time, and beginning to play shows on tour where people showed up. I am in awe of the artists who wanted to participate in celebrating my anniversary and reissue, from young inspiring musicians, to artists who took me under their wing, who I met on tour, and to artists I’ve looked up to since I was a teenager. Each one of these artists continue to influence my writing and provide a sense of camaraderie during this new era of sharing music.”
Along with the announcement, Van Etten has shared a particularly poignant inclusion on the tracklist: Big Red Machine’s version of opener “A Crime.” There’s a lot of history woven in here, considering how crucial the moment was when Justin Vernon and the Dessners covered “Love More” around the time Epic came out, and the fact that led to Aaron Dessner producing Tramp. Here’s what Dessner had to say about it:
Sharon is one of my favorite songwriters and I’ve been very lucky to get to collaborate with her many times over the years. Recording ‘A Crime’ with Justin, more than 10 years aer we covered “Love More” at Music Now with my brother Bryce — and thinking about all our shared memories — it felt like coming full circle. It’s an honor to be able to pay tribute to Sharon and her incredible songs. We felt like the door should be about to fall off the hinges of this version and I think it sounds like that.
Check it out below.
01 “A Crime” – Big Red Machine
02 “Peace Signs” – IDLES
03 “Save Yourself” – Lucinda Williams
04 “DsharpG” – Shamir
05 “Don’t Do It” – Courtney Barnett (Feat. Vagabon)
06 “One Day” – St. Panther
07 “Love More” – Fiona Apple
To further celebrate the release, Van Etten will play two livestream concerts on 4/16 and 4/17, performing Epic in full from the LA venue Zebulon. (Profits will benefit the venue, which was crucial to Van Etten’s career early on, and you can get tickets here.) epic Ten is out digitally 4/16 and physically 6/11 via Ba Da Bing. Pre-order it here.