Sharon Van Etten is one of those singer-songwriters who can craft a tender song and belt it out in just the most perfectly sad and heartbreaking way. Her newest record, Tramp, was released earlier this year on Jagjaguwar, and features Aaron Dessner of The National manning the mixing board. Van Etten's folk sensibilities are honed with a sharpened edge of rock dynamics, creating introspective songs of pure splendor. Even if all the instruments and vigorous production on Trampare stripped away, the vocal tracks that remain are stunning, layered into flawless harmonies, including Van Etten's own voice and sometimes featuring guests like Beirut’s Zach Condon and Jenn Wasner from Wye Oak. It’s pure poetry on every song, and appropriate for the change in weather, as her songs make you see your breath on a cold night.
Van Etten will be leaving the audience at the Firebird astounded on Monday night, along with label mate Damien Jurado. He’s been around the indie scene since 1995, building a large discography of 11 LPs and numerous singles and EPs. Jurado has released one hell of a record this year, merging his normal folksiness with a tinge of psychedelic to form his best album yet, Maraqopa. His voice is soft and warm, strong but still somehow frail, complimenting the gorgeousness of his words that share personal and emotional details.
Make sure you get to the venue early for the set from local folk rockers Indian Blanket. They’re just hitting the local scene, and are quickly becoming the go-to support for folk-themed rock bands. Earlier this year they opened for First Aid Kit, and have been collaborating with that band of late. Indian Blanket does our city proud by bringing such a strong STL presence to an already stellar lineup.