Although she was born and raised in suburban New Jersey, Sharon Van Etten's folk music evokes the open landscapes and lonely expanses of Middle America. A dedicated choir student during her childhood, she began writing songs on her guitar as a high school student and, upon moving to New York, started playing them in concert. Van Etten signed with the Chicago-based indie label Drag City and issued her intimate, official debut, Because I Was in Love, in spring 2009, followed by the lush, more band-oriented Epic in 2010. Van Etten signed to Jagjaguwar in late 2010 and began working with the National's Aaron Dessner as producer for her third album, Tramp; it was released in early 2012. She returned in 2014 with her fourth studio album, Are We There, which was produced by Van Etten herself with the help of New York-based producer Stewart Lerman.