Remind Me Tomorrow is Sharon Van Etten gone widescreen. It’s been a long time coming. While the likes of ‘Give Out’ on Tramp all the way back in 2012 flirted with anthem status, Van Etten has long shied away from allowing her achingly personal tales to grow too universal. If anything, 2014’s often brilliant, nearly always searing Are We There retreated further still into the recesses of her mind, the singer-songwriter seeming to abandon any pretense of bumping her name up festival lineups.

Then, like that, she seemed to back away from music itself. She still popped here and there, notably on the gorgeous title track from Hercules and Love Affair’s Omnion in 2017, but for a time, Van Etten spent more time on Netflix’s The OA than she did on records.

Remind Me Tomorrow, then, isn’t only a return to her calling, but a grand surprise. Sharon Van Etten has finally, truly, embraced just how appealing her unique voice can be. Comparing her latest work to Van Etten albums past is somewhat akin to the leap from Paul Simon’s more intimate work to the massive world of Graceland. Van Etten’s ambitions here are perhaps not quite so limitless, but she’s never before so much opened herself up to melody and fine-tuned production.

‘Memorial Day’ lurches about with muted, wistful wails echoing behind Van Etten’s singing: it’s absolutely immediate. To call an album an artist’s most “accessible” was long something of a backhanded compliment, praise doubling as a dirty word. In an era (rightfully) endeared with the likes of Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, breaking on through to that other side has never been more accepted, more idealized.

Somehow, Van Etten has both offered her "accessible" album, and stayed entirely true to herself. The songs of Remind Me Tomorrow are by and large catchier than anything before in her catalogue, and yet couldn’t be mistaken as coming from any other songwriting voice. She fills grooves with the likes of, “Holy shit man, we almost died,” and the album is all the stronger for it.

No less, she finds moments to venture into territory entirely unexplored in her career thus far. 'Jupiter 4' is nearly alien, with Van Etten's disembodied voice turning a song circling love and adoration into something haunting, beautiful and foreboding all at once. Album closer 'Stay' also stands tall, opening with a whisper and building into one of its songwriter's most powerful, hopeful songs to date.

The inspiration for this newfound sense of worth and power seems clear. The album’s art is telling: Van Etten may not have two children, but raising a son has almost certainly influenced her recording. It’s tiring to prattle on about motherhood changing a female songwriter, and without question, Remind Me Tomorrow is far from a "family woman" album, but it seems more likely that youth itself sparked something in Van Etten. As she remembers her youth across ‘Seventeen’, it seems clear the wonder of a child’s mind has brought on numerous feelings, and ideas, to Van Etten’s mind. We’re all lucky for it.