On June 1, Lauren Denitzio of Brooklyn-based band Worriers tweeted “Okay, so when are we going to speak about the truth that the title of the brand new Sharon Van Etten document is a Sandlot reference.”
Denitzio made a great level, so SPIN reached out to Van Etten to have that discuss.
That Sandlot reference, the road “We’ve been going about this all incorrect” turned the title of Van Etten’s sixth album — a lovely, expansive and exploratory document that’s each an sincere dissection of the trauma of the previous couple of years and an earnestly hopeful look ahead.
Recent off a current tour of the UK, Van Etten had loads to say about her new document, We’ve Been Going About This All Fallacious, her line about utilizing the toilet after doing dishes and which character from The Sandlot she most identifies with.
Or as she put it, “I do know, it’s intense more often than not.”
SPIN: Are you able to inform me in regards to the title of the document, We’ve Been Going About This All Fallacious, by the use of The Sandlot?
Sharon Van Etten: So, as a household, we moved to Los Angeles in September 2019 after I completed a tour with Bon Iver. We completed constructing the studio in my storage in January 2020 — and some months later we’re locked in. When COVID hit, my son was 3, and right here we’re in LA nesting and unpacking and shifting right into a neighborhood the place we don’t actually know anybody. One of many issues that I discovered is that you simply simply need to make it an journey. I felt fortunate that I used to be capable of be house and assist us be extra current, as a result of my accomplice works as a supervisor, so he has stored his Monday-Friday schedule. I used to be largely house whereas we had been figuring this out. He was working at house and I used to be working from house whereas additionally attempting to boost this 3 12 months previous. For sure, we weren’t strict with our schedule. It was very free-flowing. It was like “What do you need to do now? How can we make this thrilling and enjoyable for you?” We might have film nights, and I bear in mind this film rising up. I used to be like 12 when it got here out and my little brother was 8, and we watched collectively and he turned obsessed. So I believed it’d be a enjoyable film to share with my son, realizing that it was one thing that I linked with and that his uncle linked with.
We watched it so many occasions. There’s loads about it that he personally linked with, being the brand new child on the town and discovering his circle. It was additionally this time the place we had simply gotten a canine, and he was studying methods to take care of having a brand new buddy round. It was simply a kind of issues that introduced us nearer collectively as a household. We might watch it and he may quote all the things and he knew the soundtrack. He may let you know what scene was taking part in. He pays consideration to element in a approach that the an increasing number of we watched it, this film turned his good friend. It was one thing that we may return to that may assist recenter him, but additionally recenter us. Now we have most likely watched that film 100 occasions. One explicit time I bear in mind we had been watching it, and there’s that scene the place they’re attempting to get the ball again from the neighbor’s yard. Then the vacuum cleaner explodes in his face, and he says to his pals “We’ve been going about this all incorrect!”
I had seen that film so many occasions, however on this explicit day, no matter was happening with me, I used to be within the strategy of narrowing down all these new songs that I had written, about 20-25 songs, and I used to be simply struck by this sense. If you take it out of that context, about all of the issues that you simply want you could possibly change however can’t — and simply watching the world outdoors the window, attempting to determine what it’s, what’s your house in it. I simply bought all choked up. I bear in mind writing it down — I’m a Publish-It particular person — and I put it on my laptop and I simply stored returning to this concept. That’s across the time the place I made a decision to lean into that feeling for the document. That title for some cause gave the impression to be the umbrella of all the sentiments that I used to be experiencing. And that’s the way it began.
Did touchdown on the title and theme offer you a by way of line to start out tethering all the things to?
Sure, as a result of there are undoubtedly songs that had been extra experimental that had been nonetheless discovering themselves and there have been songs that had been perhaps a bit extra uptempo, and there’s some piano ballads that had been extra love songs. It helped me be capable to whittle it right down to the songs that went to that darker place. However one of many issues that I needed to verify in selecting the songs was that I didn’t need them to really feel hopeless, as a result of there are undoubtedly some songs that I had in there that had no silver lining within the music, however these had been like ‘That’s only for me and that was a day.’ Typically I really feel that accountability of “If I share this, is this useful to anybody?” So typically it was like “That was nice for me that day, however that isn’t what I need to depart folks with.” As I used to be choosing the songs, I needed to verify there was all the time a glimmer of ‘That’s not it. There’s something else and there may be hope, despite the fact that it appears darkish and misplaced and mysterious, or simply out of arm’s attain. The higher image is that there may be extra and it could actually get higher despite the fact that it doesn’t really feel prefer it but.”
I usually marvel if folks will typically misconstrue “unhappy songs.” It feels such as you make a concerted effort to be like “This was onerous, however we’re going forward.”
That’s my objective, however I feel the those that take away from my songs that it’s simply darkness, they’re not listening to the phrases — which I do know not all folks hearken to phrases and never all folks like minor key songs. And never all folks like songwriters. [Laughs.] I feel hopefully the folks which can be listening for actual, they get it. However I additionally know that I’m not speaking about one thing straightforward and never all people needs to go there. And that’s simply their proper.
I as soon as made a playlist of songs which have one actually nice line and considered one of yours that stands out is, “I did the dishes and I shit in your toilet” from “Everytime The Solar Comes Up.” I consider that line on a regular basis, it’s the funniest line on the planet to me and it’s in a minor key music.
It’s humorous, as a result of I’ve a social media group who’s attempting to assist me have a story within the social media world. I like posting issues however they’re like “There’s a time to do it and there’s sure issues it is advisable publish.” I prefer it to be in my very own phrases. I don’t like simply giving my accounts away. However after they noticed that I didn’t have a TikTok, they requested me to join an account and somebody tagged me in that music. It was a kind of ‘most pointless lyrics on the planet’ movies, and this man was so offended. He was like “Why does anybody like this music?” I imply, I’m simply telling a narrative from one thing that truly occurred, as a result of after I was making that document, Are We There, the dish sink was within the toilet. I used to be doing the dishes — I feel I used to be slightly stoned or one thing — after which I broke a dish within the sink and I believed it was actually humorous. However then once more, I didn’t suppose we had been going to maintain that lyric. It was a placeholder whereas the band was performing stay in a single room, and I used to be stream-of-consciously singing in regards to the day simply so they might observe the stay half. It simply got here out and Stuart Lurman, who was monitoring me, mentioned “Nicely, I feel that’s a keeper.” I used to be like “Wait a minute, that was simply me messing round freestyling.” However we ended up holding the road as a result of it was a story of that day.
My final query is extraordinarily vital. Which Sandlot character do you most determine with?
I’d say the canine
He’s so underestimated, and everybody’s form of intimidated by him. However nobody ever simply went over to see what the deal was. Though I did really feel like the brand new child on the town my entire complete life. However I form of really feel just like the canine on the opposite aspect of the fence. It’s this unknown factor, however what had been they actually afraid of? The parable.
I simply bought some phrases of knowledge which can be nonetheless ringing in my ears, and I’m nonetheless studying methods to use it with selections I must make in my life. My good friend Max mentioned one thing alongside the traces of “If making a decision primarily based on love, as an alternative of concern, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect.” When that scene occurs, the place the fence falls on the canine and the child decides to attempt to save the canine and carry the canine up — despite the fact that he was slightly afraid — he led with love and everybody kicked in. That feeling that you simply may be slightly afraid, however for those who lead from right here [points to her chest], that message is one thing I must remind myself of each day.
That’s such an ideal reply.
[Laughs.] “Sharon feels just like the canine on the opposite aspect of the fence”