Sharon Van Etten's been leading a consistently interesting music career for over a decade, and she's still making appealing, unexpected moves -- her 2022 album We've Been Going About This All Wrong is one of our favorites of the year so far, and like nothing else she's ever done. She's currently supporting it on The Wild Hearts Tour with Angel Olsen and Julien Baker, and in addition to playing their own sets, there's also been some on-stage collaboration between Sharon and Angel for their song "Like I Used To" as well as a Harry Nilsson cover. That's just one of the many, many covers Sharon's done over the years, both on her own and in collaboration with other artists. She's done amazing covers at live shows, during radio sessions, and in the studio, and she even curated a selection of covers of her songs, for 2020's epic Ten, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of her sophomore album epic and features covers by Fiona Apple, Lucinda Williams, Courtney Barnett, Big Red Machine, and much more. For this post, we've rounded up 25 of our favorite covers that she's done over the years, and even 25 is just small sample of all the covers she's done. Read on for the list...

"Femme Fatale" (The Velvet Underground) with Angel Olsen

For 2021's I'll Be Your Mirror: A Tribute To The Velvet Underground & Nico compilation, Sharon and Angel Olsen collaborated on a slowed, ominous version of "Femme Fatale." It's fun to hear SVE take on a lyrical character study that she didn't write--she brings her same sprawling sense of empathy and emotionality to her vocal performance, as though the song was her own.

"Without You" (Harry Nilsson) with Angel Olsen

On the Wild Hearts tour, Angel Olsen and Sharon Van Etten have been teaming up for a cover of "Without You," originally by Harry Nilsson. Their version starts off quiet, intimate, and bluesy before launching into the classic wailing chorus.

"Do You Realize??" (The Flaming Lips)

Sharon's soft, whispery croon suits her cover of "Do You Realize??" perfectly. It's darker sounding, less optimistic than the original, in large part because of the slowed tempo. She released her version of the Flaming Lips classic in 2016 for the final episode of Amazon series Gortimer Gibbon's Life On Normal Street, which also featured contributions by Conor Oberst, Andrew Bird, and the Avett Brothers.

"To Lay Me Down" (Jerry Garcia) with Perfume Genius and Friends

In 2016, Bryce and Aaron Dessner of The National curated a massive Grateful Dead tribute album called Day of the Dead. It featured this cover of "To Lay Me Down" that meshes Perfume Genius's vulnerability and Sharon Van Etten's soft raspiness for a striking vocal texture. The somber song nods to the Dead with brief flecks of electric guitar in the mix.

"Starman" (David Bowie)

Another film contribution, Sharon contributed her voice to a brief cover of "Starman" for the 2022 Netflix documentary Return to Space. It's a departure from Bowie's original, sped-up and shortened and made more electronic, but SVE sounds fantastic singing the iconic chorus.

"Drive All Night" (Bruce Springsteen)

Sharon covered the Boss on solo piano in 2014 at the Stony Pony in her native New Jersey for the AV Club- and Honda-sponsored Pioneering series in 2014. It's one of her best covers to date, dripping with emotion and celebrating her musical prowess all the same.

"In My Room" (The Beach Boys) with Shovels & Rope

For the third, kid-oriented edition of Shovels & Rope's cover series Busted Jukebox, Sharon contributed a steadily-rocking cover of the Beach Boys' "In My Room." Her version takes on a more optimistic, happy-go-lucky sound, with bouncy piano and tambourine in the instrumental.

"Prisoners" (John Denver) with J Mascis

Sharon harmonizes with Dinosaur Jr's J Mascis on this super jammy, harder-rocking version of John Denver original "Prisoners." It's a departure from the song's traditional folk sound, but the music video keeps the lighthearted, narrative spirit alive.

"People Ain't No Good" (Nick Cave)

Another dark one, Sharon performed "People Ain't No Good" for triple j's Like A Version series back in 2013. After an intro where Sharon and the hosts talk about her then-upcoming tour opening for Nick Cave, she launches into a solo acoustic cover that aches with honesty. Her wavering voice brings an earnest seriousness to the cover.

"Some Things Last A Long Time" (Daniel Johnston)

A repeat coverer of Daniel Johnston, Sharon Van Etten knows how to harness the layered darkness of his sound while making it feel like her own. She released this electronic-infused cover of "Some Things Last A Long Time" as a B-side to an original for the 2020 documentary Feels Good Man (which was about the creator of the Pepe the Frog meme).

"Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty) with Shearwater

In 2012, Sharon joined Shearwater for another AV Club series, "Undercover," and they knocked this already-unique song out of the park. Sharon makes an intriguing surrogate for Stevie, capturing her tone perfectly but infusing the cover with her own grit.

"Toyboat" (Yoko Ono)

Sharon appeared on an awesome tribute album, Ocean Child: Songs of Yoko Ono, earlier this year, with a cover of Yoko's "Toyboat." She sings with a commanding presence, paying tribute to the original while making it sound like her own song.

"Black Boys On Mopeds" (Sinéad O'Connor)

"Black Boys On Mopeds" has been in Sharon's live repertoire for years now, and back in 2019 she performed it solo on acoustic guitar for a SiriusXM session. Her voice is akin to Sinéad O'Connor's in its hypnotism.

"Don't Come Close" (Ramones) with Yo La Tengo

Back in 2018, SVE joined Yo La Tengo onstage at Bowery Ballroom during one of their annual eight Hanukkah shows. On this cover of "Don't Come Close," she captures the Ramones' spirit, digging into her deeper voice and adopting a punky, disaffected monotone.

"Strange Currencies" (R.E.M.)

At the Bowery Ballroom in early 2011, Sharon dedicated this cover of "Strange Currencies" to her older sister in the audience. Instead of trying to sound like Michael Stipe (who does?), she changes the song up, almost giving it a Velvet Underground vibe. The cover features Brad Cook of Megafaun on bass.

"Hurt" (Nine Inch Nails)

Sharon highlighted "Hurt" as a song that got her through hard times emotionally, discussing her own mental health for a series by Sounds of Saving and Lifeline raising awareness for suicide prevention. Her solo electric guitar cover captures the profound pain and loneliness of the original. The cover starts at 3:50.

"Barstool Blues" (Neil Young)

One of the most fun live performances on the list, this cover of "Barstool Blues" from 2012 features Aaron Dessner, Jenn Wasner, Thurston Moore, Peter Silberman, Brad Cook, and Sharon's dad on tambourine. Over the full band, Sharon's voice still shines with her singular dark folk-rock tone.

"New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" (LCD Soundsystem)

In 2018, Sharon sang this cynical LCD Soundsystem classic in front of a full orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London for the annual BBC Proms series. It's more emotionally affected than the original, but rings with a fun irony considering she's wailing the song over a massive orchestra. She even leaves the stage before the outro finishes.

"Remembering Mountains" (Karen Dalton)

Sharon contributed this titular cover to an album of unheard songs by Karen Dalton that also featured Julia Holter, Lucinda Williams, and more. SVE's voice is an excellent foil for Karen Dalton, with a similar characteristic raspy tone and folk influence.

"Flirted With You All My Life" (Vic Chesnutt)

Covering Vic Chesnutt only a few years after his passing in 2009, Sharon pays tribute with a much more longing, nostalgic version of "Flirted With You All My Life." The song closes with an electric guitar solo as sad as each passing verse, leaving a desire for more.

"Blue Christmas" (Elvis Presley)

Far from the first holiday cover she's made, SVE turns this Christmas classic on its head, bringing a tender honesty to the melody Elvis made famous in the '60s. Where the original is sad almost to the point of parody, Sharon's version is heartfelt and lonesome.

"Machine Gun" (Portishead)

Sharon Van Etten was one of the 55 artists who contributed to the Save Stereogum: An '00s Covers Comp (Soccer Mommy too), and she chose "Machine Gun," the big single off Portishead's beloved 2008 comeback album Third. Sharon's cited Portishead as one of her major influences, and her cover stays pretty faithful to the original, proving its heavy electronics are well within her wide musical range. Pick up the comp to hear it.

"Perfect Day" (Lou Reed) with Deer Tick

Sharon's done a handful of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground covers over the years, and her voice sounded as longing as ever when she sang the "you just keep me hanging on" hook with Deer Tick at Brooklyn Bowl in 2014.

"I Wanna Destroy You" - The Soft Boys

A punkier song than most on this list, Sharon covered "I Wanna Destroy You" early in her career at a Hoboken New Year's Eve show in 2011 with Ted Leo. Her deeper voice sounds awesome yelling the Soft Boys' unmistakeable chorus.

"The End of the World" (Skeeter Davis)

Sharon covered Skeeter Davis' '60s country-pop classic "The End of the World" for 2017's Resistance Radio: The Man in the High Castle Album, Danger Mouse and Sam Cohen's companion album to Amazon's The Man in the High Castle, and it's become one of her most popular songs. Her voice intertwines wonderfully with the dainty piano instrumental, and drips with longing as Skeeter Davis's did in the original.

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