Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat
Sharon Van Etten, a singer-songwriter from New Jersey, has released a new single called “Not Myself” dedicated to the victims of the Orlando shooting. The artist has created this song as a charity to support the work of the Everytown for Gun and Safety Support Fund.
Everytown for Gun and Safety Support Fund is a movement that has a goal to reduce gun violence with the improved knowledge that will be gained of what causes gun violence, through original researching, policy developing and communicating.
According to a letter written by Sharon, while the news of the nightclub shooting was reported, she was at home in New Jersey. Through the hate, violence and intolerance this event had brought, she wanted to take action and help. Originally, she was going to raise money for the victims and their family, but ended up writing this song to help raise money and support the goals laid out by Everytown for Gun and Safety Support Fund.
The slow piano beats and the repetition in vocals bring out the emotional side of the listeners, especially to the families of the victims, with lyrics such as “I will walk with you/show my heart believes in something/pray”. The artist had also written in the letter about how the victims were only looking for somewhere to be safe and to express who they are, yet they never found it. With this, the artist includes “I want you to be yourself around me/I know it’s too much to take/There’s too much at stake/And I want you to be yourself around me”. This could be expressed as a way to say that not everyone is the same, and people who feel that they aren’t safe in the world for being who they are should know that there is someone or something that will make them feel safe.
The song is available for purchase on Sharon Van Etten’s Bandcamp for $1 with an option to pay more for those who want to donate more for the cause.
The artist has been working on projects like new songs for a album or covers such as Teen Angel by Donovan.