When Sharon Van Etten released her thrilling, propulsive new song "Comeback Kid" earlier this month, it was clear the beloved singer had entered a new chapter in her evolving sound, swapping gently strummed acoustic guitars for jagged synths and a driving beat. Now, on a new video for the track, directed by Jonathan William Turner, Van Etten matches her new sonic intensity as she sings against strobing images from early in her career, dressed in black, with the kind of bold makeup you'd see in a mid-'80s Pat Benatar video.
"Believe it or not, 'Comeback Kid' started off as a piano ballad," Van Etten tells NPR Music in an email. "My homage to Bruce Springsteen, talking about formative years. It is talking about my young adult years, when I returned home in my early 20s after having an early crisis. My family took me in with open arms, nursed me back to health. I tried to explain all the complicated relationships with returning home and the many selves you face, the kid that never goes away, but strives to be the independent adult. I feel like this song encompasses my influences from past and present, as well as represents a moment in time that changed my life and helped me move on to be who I am today. It is complex and sometimes hard to face, but I face it and I'm stronger now. And as I look at my son, I hope he knows he can always turn to me, too."
Remind Me Tomorrow comes out Jan. 18 on Jagjaguwar.