The song was originally a country lament in the style of Lucinda Williams, before it transformed into a Springsteen or Arcade Fire-type wall of sound. Van Etten finished the tune while working with Kate Davis, a songwriter who she told Uncut
"is definitely where I was 10 years ago."
Kate Davis was trained as a jazz musician but aspired to be a singer-songwriter in the vein of Van Etten. Her debut album, Trophy
, was in the works when she collaborated on "Seventeen." Davis told Songfacts: "Sharon worked up a demo with the chord progression and loose form for the song. By the time I got involved the song just needed melody and lyrics. We worked together to flesh it out - I followed Sharon's lead!"
She added: "I have been a HUGE fan of Sharon's since 2010. I was always really moved by her ability to bring so much emotion through her voice. Also so moved by her mastery of confessional songwriting. I've looked to her artistry for inspiration ever since I heard 'Love More