My friend Allison and I just finished a midweek double-whammy of talented Brooklyn girls with guitars.
Wednesday night we headed to Zebulon to catch Sharon Van Etten. The place was packed, and it was satisfying to hear the crowd shush a loud talker in the back. Everyone was attentive, and the venue’s candlelit vibe perfectly complimented Sharon’s warm and delicate songs. Her dad was even in attendance, and she pointed him out in between songs. Sharon reminds me of Chan Marshall at moments.
Thursday we caught Ivana XL at Pianos. Her songs are a little more bouncy than Sharon’s, and the lyrics are a little less abstract. Her voice has a cooing quality while Sharon’s is more of an angelic sigh. The vibe and attendance at Pianos wasn’t quite as special as Zebulon had been. Ivana sometimes makes me think of Mirah.
While these two singer-songwriters have their differences, they are really quite alike. Both hop between the small venues of Brooklyn and the Lower East Side. Both have been blessed with vocal chords that produce pristine vibrations. And both, I think, have lots of exciting things on their horizons.
[Van Etten photo by me; Ivana XL photo by Charlie Cravero]