Live Review + Photos: Sharon Van Etten at 529, Atlanta, 09/14/2010

Epic, but with a small e. That’s how Sharon Van Etten jokingly described her recently released album Epic between songs during her performance at Atlanta’s 529. While her sophomore record isn’t exactly the most varied or ambitious, that’s never described Etten’s style. In fact, she’s quite the opposite, using her beautiful, heartrending serene voice to cry out to her audience.

For a long time, including the last time she stopped in Atlanta when she opened for Kyp Malone’s Rain Machine, Van Etten kept her shows limited as a solo act. While her quiet conviction stirs with every passing swoon of her voice, the melancholic minimalist songwriter has since opened up her sound, recently adding a back band to accompany her. This decision brought her music to life, from a longing whisper to a quite roar. With songs like “One Day” and “Save Yourself,” she may never be Epic, but a small e will certainly suffice for this talented singer-songwriter.