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Hear Sharon Van Etten’s Somber New Song ‘Staring at a Mountain’

Track appears in Eliza Hittman’s film drama ‘Never Rarely Sometimes Always’

Ryan Reed Mar 11, 2020

Sharon Van Etten. Photo: Shutterstock

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Sharon Van Etten gazes into the void on her somber new song “Staring at a Mountain.” The track, which premiered at Entertainment Weekly, highlights the credits of Eliza Hittman’s new film Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

“I am so tired, I fell right through/I looked into a darkness no one knew,” Van Etten sings over plaintive piano, airy synth and a muted kick-snare thump. “I’m falling further into something/That I cannot understand.”

Never Rarely Sometimes Always, which features a score from Julia Holter, premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival and hits U.S. theaters on March 13th. The drama follows teenager Autumn (Sidney Flanigan), who leaves rural Pennsylvania for New York City after learning of her unplanned pregnancy.

Van Etten, who appears in the film as Autumn’s mother, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about her dual role in the project and the writing process behind “Staring at a Mountain.”

“I got off the phone with Eliza and was sitting at my piano. I literally have a mountain in my backyard; we call it our bluff,” she said. “I’d just moved to California this past fall, and it was a little isolating at first — a big change from New York. So I’ll just sit at the piano and stare, trying to feel feelings. [Laughs] I literally just thought of Sidney on that bus, driving home, and I was thinking about where she’s going. Feeling misunderstood. I wanted to give a little bit of light in the song, too.”

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In early February, Van Etten issued a video for single “Beaten Down,” which follows her fifth LP, 2019’s Remind Me Tomorrow. She will continue to promote the record on a U.S. tour launching April 17th in Baltimore; on July 30th, she’ll open for the National in New Haven, Connecticut.

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