Fact: Sharon Van Etten hasn’t released a full-length album in over four years (2014’s Are We There), and her last legitimate release was 2015’s I Don’t Want to Let You Down EP. To her credit, she’s been incredibly busy, having appeared in Netflix’s The OA, dropping by The Roadhouse for a gig on Twin Peaks, and, you know, giving birth to her first child.
Even so, fans have been clamoring for a follow-up, enough that Van Etten has been selling shirts on her official site that read, “When is Sharon Van Etten’s Next Album?” Well, in a trick that is right out of the NIN playbook, Van Etten used those shirts to announce an official release date for album numero cinco … and it’s January 18th, 2019.
As Brooklyn Vegan points out, fans who ordered the tongue-in-cheek shirt were rewarded with a nice little surprise on the back of the tee: the date in numerals “01182019.” In fact, one fan even received a handwritten Post-It note on their shirt that read, “Thanks for wanting to know!” In a way, it almost makes up for the gap between albums.
In related news, Van Etten pops up this week on Marissa Nadler’s new album, For My Crimes and recently covered LCD Soundsystem’s “New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down” with a full-on orchestra. Next month, she’ll appear at Austin City Limits, where our team will certainly be at, so stay tuned for any surprises.