Today, Sharon Van Etten releases “Porta,” a powerful new single and video and her first new solo release since fall 2020. Produced by Van Etten (vocals, synths, drum machines) and Daniel Knowles (synths) and backed by her live band of Jorge Balbi (drums), Charley Damski (guitars), Devin Hoff (bass), throughout “Porta” Van Etten sings of the unnerving feeling of losing one’s self and safety: “Want to hold head up, don’t want to stay down // I want to live my life // But you won’t allow.” But, as seen in the song’s video, as “Porta” progresses, Van Etten takes the reins, reaching a new form of catharsis: “Think straight. Get by // Gotta think straight to get by // Think straight. Get by // Want to be myself.”
In Van Etten’s words, “Porta” was written in 2020 “at one of my lowest lows. For most of my adult life I have struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety and coping mechanisms, and I sometimes let those dark moments get the best of me. During this time I felt very dissociated. Not connected to my body and I felt out of control.”
Check out the song and video below..
Eventually, Van Etten reached out to her friend, Stella Cook, who runs Base Pilates in North Carolina. “I was seeking a friend, someone to talk to who understands what finding the core means but also knows what my weaknesses are and can help me work around them and find my other strengths. I knew I was entering a no judgment zone and I needed to be held accountable for my actions and Stella helped me step up. We would meet once a week on Zoom, have a catch up on life over a quick coffee and then get to work. Then, a day or two later she would send another video my way so I had something to work towards the end of the week. She was encouraging, but not pushy. If life got in the way, I didn’t feel like I let her down – but I loved our sessions. I looked forward to them. I started feeling closer to her, and closer to myself, and it helped things seem hopeful. And I just wanted to share that with the world,” says Van Etten. “Instead of the darkness. Instead of my fears. My message is to work through them. Even when it’s hard. Even when it hurts. Reach out. Reach out to that friend who helps you reach out towards yourself.”
This spring, Van Etten will embark on the Darkness Fades Tour of Europe before heading out with Angel Olsen, Julien Baker and Spencer. on the The Wild Hearts Tour this summer. Tickets for the Darkness Fades Tour go on sale Friday, February 11 at 10am local time.