Back with her first solo song in two years, Sharon Van Etten released “Porta” Tuesday. Written in 2020, “Porta” and its electronic beats describe coping with mental illness in its darkest moments.
“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,” the singer said. During this time I felt very dissociated. Not connected to my body and I felt out of control.”
Despite the lyrics matching her melancholic state, Van Etton’s “Porta” is based in a type of upbeat and energetic brightness – similar to music in a 1980s workout video. In a statement, Van Etten said she got inspiration for her newly-released track and video through a friend she would meet to “catch up on life over a quick coffee.”
“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 [Cook, who runs Base Pilates in North Carolina] helped me step up,” Van Etten said. “We would meet once a week on Zoom, have a catch up on life over a quick coffee and then get to work . . . 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 video shows the duo doing Pilates – growing more energetic and bubbly as the song goes on. While the video begins with Van Etton in a seemingly lost state of mind, it concludes with her finally finding herself and her purpose through these weekly meetings.
The official video for Van Etten’s “Porta” can be viewed below.
Photo Credit: Kalyn Oyer