Pop gig of the week: Sharon van Etten, various venues


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The Independent Culture

Alt-rock high-rankers from Beirut and The National guest on Sharon van Etten's third album, Tramp, but the contents of her contacts book prove less dramatically compelling than the growing confidence in her own voice.

That drama has played out on and off record for this US singer-songwriter. In life, Van Etten endured an abusive relationship with a chap who told her she couldn't sing (his time behind bars may have been due to issues besides cloth ears); on Tramp, Van Etten prises shows of strength from hard-won wisdoms, her smoky voice tremulous with poise and feeling over tense settings on intimate emotional stealth-bomb songs – Throwing Muses meets Cat Power being the vibe.

It's a drama that has seen her graduate from quiet cult concern to cathartic cross-over contender, a point from which her fanbase is, hearteningly, stretching well beyond that inner circle.

Scala, London N1 (020 7734 8932; stargreen.com) Wed; Deaf Institute, Manchester (0845 413 4444; alt-tickets.co.uk) Thur