Darkish

Album: We've Been Going About This All Wrong (2022)
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Songfacts®:

  • Over delicate guitar strums, Sharon Van Etten promises things are not fully dark yet, despite the gloom.

    Crazy as can be
    It's not dark, it's only darkish
    Waiting


    The song is a reminder that storms end and a brighter day is always around the corner. "I think for anyone that struggles with anxiety or depression you have to remember that it's just momentary," Van Etten told Uncut magazine. "And you just have to get over this hump. But there's more and you get through it and you just have to kind of ride this out for a minute."
  • Sharon Van Etten recorded "Darkish" for We've Been Going About This All Wrong. She wrote much of the album during the COVID pandemic and sweetens this track with birdsong. The soft chirrup is a poignant reminder of the quietest days of lockdown.

    "I think everybody remembers that moment when nobody was driving and the skies turned blue and it was really quiet and you could hear nature," Van Etten recalled to Uncut. "I had never seen so many birds in my yard. There were those moments that helped me be hopeful even though we were in lockdown. I wanted to capture that."
  • Van Etten self-recorded much of We've Been Going About This All Wrong in her recording studio, custom built in her family's Californian home. She co-produced the album alongside Daniel Knowles, formerly of the Nottingham rock band Amusement Parks On Fire.
  • Van Etten named the album after a line of dialogue from the 1993 movie The Sandlot, one of her son's favorite films during the height of the pandemic.
  • At the merch table, cornered by fans who wanted to share their own traumatic stories, Van Etten found another calling. Longing to advise but feeling unqualified, she applied to Brooklyn College to study psychology and mental health counseling.

    Van Etten wanted to help her hurting fans find some light, an impulse that threads through even her bleakest music. She explicitly makes this point on "Darkish."

    "A friend a long time ago said, 'Sharon you can be so dark, you know,'" she told Mojo magazine. "But I'm just darkish - I'm not completely dark. The lights are completely out but there's a dull cracked or a window open."

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