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Hello and welcome to the Talkhouse Podcast, I’m Josh Modell. On this week’s episode, we’ve got the return of one of our favorite repeat guests in conversation with an equally fantastic songwriter making her first Talkhouse Podcast appearance.
Sharon Van Etten is a singer and songwriter who’s been making records for the past decade plus, growing and changing and taking chances in exactly the way you hope truly talented people will. Her amazing early records were quietly intense, very confessional affairs, but she burst from the seams with subsequent releases. In 2019, she released Remind Me Tomorrow, which brought in bigger sounds and colors and an entirely different kind of confidence to her songwriting and performance. In 2022, Van Etten released another incredible album called We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong, which puts into intense songs some of the feelings we’ve all been feeling through the last few years. As you’ll hear in this chat, Van Etten has already written a ton of songs for her next album, and now she’s trying to figure out how to get there. Check out “Mistakes” from We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong.
The other half of today’s chat is Canadian singer-songwriter Charlotte Cornfield. Yes, that’s her real last name—you can actually read the story on Talkhouse.com from 2021 where she explained its origins to Amy Millan of the band Stars. Cornfield starting releasing music back in 2008, and her fifth album, Could Have Done Anything, was released in May of 2023. This conversation was originally meant to be recorded back then, but Cornfield had a baby around that same time, which as some of you surely know, changes your schedule pretty intensely. But motherhood is a big part of this conversation: Van Etten has a six-year-old, and the two openly talk about the joys and challenges of raising a child. Check out “Gentle Like the Drugs,” from Could Have Done Anything.
In addition to getting deep about parenting, Van Etten and Cornfield talk about Van Etten’s creative in-between space, about the plusses and minuses of New York vs. Los Angeles vs. Toronto, and about how Southerners eat trash—but in a good way. Enjoy.
Thanks for listening to the Talkhouse Podcast, and thanks to Sharon Van Etten and Charlotte Cornfield for chatting. If you liked what you heard, please follow Talkhouse on your favorite podcasting platform, and check out all the great stuff at Talkhouse.com. This episode was produced by Myron Kaplan, and the Talkhouse theme is composed and performed by the Range. See you next time!
(Photo Credit: left, Michael Schmelling; right, Brittany Carmichael; Edited by: Keenan Kush.)