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Sharon Van Etten, 'Porta'

Sharon Van Etten's "Porta"' is a song about catharsis. Her first solo single since late 2020, it's a powerful, synth-heavy track that recreates the feeling of working through tough emotions. Van Etten says the song came about at a particularly dark time in her life. "For most of my adult life I have struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety and coping mechanisms," she says in a statement, "and I sometimes let those dark moments get the best of me." She says that during the time that inspired "Porta," she was feeling "very dissociated," disconnected from her body and out of control. These feelings resonate hard in the song, as when Van Etten sings "I want to live my life, but you won't allow," but so also does the feeling of facing these emotions and confronting them. "Stay out of my life," she repeats at the end, as the drums build and then quietly fade away.

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Brian Burns is the Music Director for WUNC Music, WUNC's AAA music discovery station. He has been working within the local music scene for over a decade. On the weekends you might see him DJing at various spots around the Triangle, or digging through boxes of records. He's also the host of King Street Soul on WHUP in Hillsborough, NC and a contributor to NPR Music. He graduated from UNC’s School of Information and Library Science with an MSLS in 2015.
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