Sharon Van Etten

Sharon Van Etten — Porta

This year is certainly proving to be the year of comebacks. For starters, as society prepares to embrace the new normal, there’s a collective feeling of excitement to gain back control of our lives and get back out there. Venues are open again, live events and festivals are going ahead, we can now go out for a coffee or go clubbing with a relative feeling of safety, etc. However, at the same time as this sense of euphoric rebound has emerged, we have all had to come to terms with the inevitable anxiety, depression, and coping mechanisms developed over the past couple of years. Every single one of us has been tested in the harshest of conditions while unwillingly needing to be isolated, and having to face those demons is exactly what Sharon Van Etten graciously sings about in her new track “Porta.”

Produced by Van Etten and Daniel Knowles, the new powerful and earnest single is the singer’s first solo single since 2020. With heavy synths and psychedelic guitar riffs that serve as the perfect foundation for the artist’s distinctive piercing vocals, “Porta” draws from Van Etten’s magical 2019 album Remind Me Tomorrow, where the etherial synth pop palette held the spotlight.

Written in 2020, the single evokes the feeling of dealing with emotions generated by turbulent times as Van Etten feels dissociated from her own body. In her words, the new piece came together during “one of my [her] lowest lows.” The legendary artist also admits to feeling “out of control” and needing someone to keep her in check throughout the process of cruising through the dark moments. In this case, it was her friend Stella Cook who helped her see the light.

“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,” Van Etten explained in a statement.

The track is accompanied by a video featuring both Van Etten and Cook during a workout session that was a key part of the artist’s fightback process. The intensity displayed in the video mirrors the sentiment of the track and the ferocity of the lyrics as she sings, “Want to be myself, you wanna be my / I want to be myself. Stay out of my life (stay out of my life).”

With this being the first of (hopefully) many more new tracks to come and with the announcement of her upcoming European tour Darkness Fades, we cannot contain our excitement for the awaited return of one of the most powerful and inspiring female artists ever.