Sharon Van Etten × Gina Birch
Illustrated Lyrics

Impactful lyrics from over thirteen years of Sharon Van Etten’s studio releases are reimagined in painterly and nonconformist artworks by Gina Birch of The Raincoats.

  • 695 of 1000
    copies remaining in edition
  • $50.00

This item will be printed once 1000 pre-orders have been received. Estimated shipping Q2 2023.

Sharon Van Etten × Gina Birch Illustrated Lyrics $50.00

Overview

“Everyone thinks I’m a liar wading on the edge of fire with you. In the hour of questions I wonder – who, who?”

Finding power in vulnerability, Sharon Van Etten’s words are the battle cry of an inner voice reaching outwards. A recent conversation, organized by Apple Music, between Van Etten and Elton John revealed the importance of the candid nature of her work and its ability to be an emotional companion to those who listen to it. As Elton John told her, the music “touches me, it takes me somewhere else and it makes me feel warm inside… and I’m quite nervous talking to you because I’ve loved you for a long time.” Music has been an integral part of Van Etten’s being since childhood and, despite having to overcome various obstacles and dissuasions, she continued to write and perform songs – making and giving out self-released handmade CDs – until she released her debut studio-recorded album because i was in love in 2009. Van Etten has released six studio albums to date and has collaborated with other stand-out voices in music such as Joshua Homme, Angel Olsen, Bon Iver, Nick Cave and The National.

In her latest collaboration, Van Etten has worked with artist, and fellow musician, Gina Birch to animate her lyrics in paint. The naked human forms, the tangibility of flesh, bold colour palettes and the distorted surroundings of Birch’s artworks convey the rawness, power and vulnerability of Van Etten’s lyrics, which range from abusive relationships and emotional growth to motherhood, love and nostalgia for the selves we leave behind.

Volume is proud to offer this very special collector’s edition, signed by Van Etten and Birch and limited to only 1000 copies, available only for a short period.

Author

Sharon Van Etten

Illustrator

Gina Birch

Genre

Music

Specification

220 x 150 mm
128 pages
Hardbound in real cloth with slipcase
Tipped-in cover image
Each copy signed by both Van Etten and Birth

The book

Containing lyrics from across six studio albums, with songs personally selected by Van Etten, the book begins with a foreword written by her and includes the songs ‘Peace Signs’, ‘Seventeen’, ‘Give Out’, Van Etten’s recent song collaboration with Angel Olsen ‘Like I Used To’ and many more, including ‘Home To Me’, from her latest album.

Bound in real cloth and tucked inside a slipcase, the book is printed in five colours to the highest quality, with a specially selected Pantone used throughout. Typographic layouts inspired by Concrete Poetry enliven exquisitely reproduced paintings commissioned exclusively for the book by multimedia artist and musician Gina Birch.

This edition is exclusive to Volume and is available for a limited time only.

Van Etten has long known how to match stories of confusion, hurt or fear with a powerful, surefooted delivery; her songs sound like self-preservation even when they tell of self-doubt.

NPR

About the artist

Gina Birch is a painter, songwriter, musician, filmmaker and music-video director who lives and works in London. Best known as the founding member of the post-punk band The Raincoats, Gina started painting in 2014. Her artworks embrace the same feminist DIY ethos as her music, putting gender politics, experiences of sexual assault and religion at their centre. A myriad of characters occupy each canvas, from teenage girls sitting in a history lesson to a woman screaming alone in her squat. Her works are raging bonfires that crackle with reality and ignite solitary reflection.

Sharon Van Etten has delivered a consistent discography of potent pop songs, idiosyncratic indie hits and that special variety of orchestral explosion that confirms she’s a musician’s musician, as well as a poet’s poet.

Far Out

Illustrated Lyrics

In collaboration with London-based music company FORM, Volume is creating Illustrated Lyrics, a series of beautifully made, illustrated publications devoted to the art of songwriting and storytelling. This covetable and limited collection of books pairs great lyrics with visual art, bringing music to the realm of illustrated publishing through creative conversations between thinking musicians and their choice of visual artists.

With the disappearance of music packaging – record covers, CD cases, liner notes – the fullness of the listener’s experience has been lost, and musicians are not always credited for their role as lyricists, even though their words can be equal in power to the melody itself. With this series of collectible books, the songwriter’s words are back in the spotlight and elevated to new levels through the art of illustration and book-making.

Thirteen years into her recording career, Van Etten has now become the type of securely defined, universally revered artist for a younger generation of songwriters who look up to Van Etten (and her consistent songbook) as a model of integrity and quality.

Rolling Stone

Meet the author

Sharon Van Etten is an American singer-songwriter and actor. She has released six studio albums, the latest of which is We’ve Been Going About This All Wrong (2022). The BBC wrote that “[w]hile she isn’t a household name, she’s revered by her peers, working with Bon Iver, Fiona Apple, The National, and Joshua Homme. One of her biggest inspirations, Nick Cave, hand-selected her to open his 2013 tour and Barack Obama named her coming-of-age anthem ‘Seventeen’ amongst his favourite songs of 2019.” Van Etten has also appeared in Netflix drama The OA, Twin Peaks and multiple feature-length films.