Sharon Van Etten Shares Video for New Song "Porta"

"Reach out. Reach out to that friend who helps you reach out towards yourself"

BY Kaelen BellPublished Feb 8, 2022

After a week of teasing, Sharon Van Etten has shared her new song "Porta," which comes attached to a calming, pilates-themed video. 

In a statement, Van Etten said the single — which she self-produced alongside Daniel Knowles — was written "at one of my lowest lows. For most of my adult life, I have struggled with bouts of depression and anxiety and coping mechanisms, and I sometimes let those dark moments get the best of me. During this time I felt very dissociated. Not connected to my body and I felt out of control."

Seeking guidance and friendship, Van Etten reached out to her friend Stella Cook, who runs a pilates business in North Carolina: 

I was seeking a friend, someone to talk to who understands what finding the core means but also knows what my weaknesses are and can help me work around them and find my other strengths. I knew I was entering a no-judgment zone and I needed to be held accountable for my actions and Stella helped me step up. We would meet once a week on Zoom, have a catch up on life over a quick coffee and then get to work. Then, a day or two later she would send another video my way so I had something to work towards the end of the week. 

She was encouraging, but not pushy. If life got in the way, I didn't feel like I let her down - but I loved our sessions. I looked forward to them. I started feeling closer to her, and closer to myself, and it helped things seem hopeful. And I just wanted to share that with the world. Instead of the darkness. Instead of my fears. My message is to work through them. Even when it's hard. Even when it hurts. Reach out. Reach out to that friend who helps you reach out towards yourself.

The lyrics speak to that Van Etten's journey to self, as she sings "Want to hold head up, don't want to stay down / I want to live my life / But you won't allow," before the song's tone shifts and some light breaks through: "Think straight. Get by / Gotta think straight to get by / Think straight. Get by / Want to be myself. "

The song itself is a lush and energetic slice of '80s synthpop, setting Van Etten's inimitable wail over movie-montage synths and gossamer guitar. 

Van Etten's last full-length record was 2019's Remind Me Tomorrow. In 2021 she released the Angel Olsen duet "Like I Used To," and she'll be hitting the road with Olsen and Julien Baker this spring for The Wild Hearts Tour

See the video for "Porta" below. 

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