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Ane Brun


Country of origin:

Norway

Type of music generally:

Alternative folk-pop

Status:

Most recent release, When I'm Free (2015)

See also:

Ane Brun's site

Comparisons:

In different ways like Kristin Hersh, Suzanne Vega, Stina Nordenstam, Julie Doiron, Dorothy Scott, Elliot Smith, Nick Drake, José González

Covers/own material:

Own and covers

General comments:

Ane Brun is strongly recommended, lovely low-key songs. (kjetilho@ifi.uio.no)

Comments about live performance:

Ane Brun, currently living in Stockholm but originally from Molde, a small town on the west coast of Norway, opened a three concert night. If I was gonna compare her to someone it would have been Mae Moore—maybe more in the way she looks than her music perhaps which very much stands on its own. Strong set of songs and a very nice debut album two months ago. She got a scene persona which really grabs you from the start, and, with short stories about the songs and whatever in between, she was for me a very pleasant surprise. She and her band really enjoy playing, and the big enthusiastic crowd that night did clearly help a lot. (7/20/03, onealien@mo.himolde.no)

I saw Ane last week supporting Tina Dico at the Borderline in London. She was excellent (as was Tina); I must get my hands on her CDs. I'd definitely see them both again. (2/7/06, muttley64@ntlworld.com)

I wanted to mention the Ane Brun show last night at Joe's Pub. Some noteworthy things:
     * I was struck by how much Ane Brun's voice sounds like Dorothy Scott's—Ane just needs a bit more warble in the upper registers to clinch it.
     * I was also surprised to hear that "Humming One of Your Songs" is from Ane's first album; it was her first single and her first video. For me, it's the most catchy and interesting thing she does (though I do like "Song No. 6"). It's a song about earworms, and it itself has been stuck in my head for over a week now, ever since I watched the video on the website to decide whether I wanted to go to the show or not.
     The video itself is clever, touching, and a bit ghoulish in a silent movie sort of way. (8/15/06, ciriwe@phobot.net)

With two shadows as back-up dancers, Ane Brun swayed and shuffled to her songs. The portrait of a stern lace-hatted woman watched from Union Hall's back wall, entranced by Ane's accomplished acoustic guitar, remarkable voice, striped stockings and dimples. In addition to lovely melodies, Ane's songs are characterized by peculiar yet successful phrasing, such as the word-filled choruses of 'The puzzle' and ''The treehouse song'. There are country influences (Treehouse's chorus, 'Gillian' about being floored by Gillian Welch, spooky 'Balloon ranger'), catchy pop ('Song no. 6', her 'True colors' cover), and all sorts of interesting inbetweenness (my fav 'To let myself go', 'Rubber & soul' with two audience members harmonizing with opener Tobias on backing vocals).
     'The puzzle' on the new record Changing of the seasons is so gorgeous with crying strings, and live solo I was just as thrilled. Ane said it was about a friend who had gone out with a pop star and how hard it was with constant reminders everywhere after they broke up. The woman is shattered, "the pieces were quite difficult to distinguish from each other / they were tiny and the clear blue sky / went on forever."
     I need a couple of louder or more rugged or more percussive or darker songs per album to be mad about Ane's music, but she's such an original that I'm close. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Recommended first album:

A Temporary Dive

Recordings:


Spending Time With Morgan

Release info:

2003—DetErMine Records—DEMCD01; V2 Records, Inc.—VVR1023772

Availability:

Wide in Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Produced by:

Kim Nelson (1-4, 6, 8, 9); Cecilie Grudet and Katharina Nuttall (5, 7, 10, 11)

Comments:

Another artist I discovered this summer at the International Jazz Festival. She made it really had for anyone to play after her with her funny in-between songs chatter and great guitar playing. She is currently living in Sweden, but is from Norway and together with Beady Belle among the biggest talents we've got up here in this country right now. Amazing folk album this is and she sounds like a young Suzanne Vega but still very much like herself. (onealien@mo.himolde.no)

A Temporary Dive

Release info:

2005—DetErMine Records; V2 Records—63881-27307-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Ane Brun—vocals, acoustic guitars, backing vocals (1-3, 6), handclaps (2), sitra (8)

Guest artists:

Katharina Nuttall—percussion (1-4, 7), programming & sounds (7), piano (1-4, 7, 8), Rhodes (3), harmonium (7), celesta (1, 4), timbre pans (1), triangle (1, 7), backing vocals (1-3, 6), footsteps (3), handclaps (2), glockenspiel (5)
Staffan Johansson—electric guitars and sounds (1-3, 5, 7), lap-steel (8), electric bass (4), mandolin (8)
Micke Häggström—drums (2, 4), cymbal/ride (1), snare (3, 7), percussion (2, 4), triangle (7)
Thomas Davidowski—double-bass (2, 3), tuba (7)
Andreas Söderström—steelpans (5), acoustic guitar (8), dobro (5)
Malene Bay-Foged—celesta (4), accordion (6), string arrangements (4, 6)
Rodrigo Munoz—handclaps (2)
Ron Sexsmith—vocals (2)
Teitur—vocals and oohing (9)
Tobias Fröberg—oohing (9)
Rolf Nyqvist—horns (4)
Ulf Forsberg—strings (4, 6)
Ann Christin Ward, Jannika Gustavsson—strings (4)
Elisabeth Arnberg Ranmo, Marika Gustafsson, Kati Raitinen—strings (6)
Syd Matters—performed on U.S. bonus track "Little Lights"

Produced by:

Katharina Nuttall and Ane Brun; Syd Matters (U.S. bonus track)

Comments:

Absolutely 100% solid and awesome and haunting. Moody, depressing acoustic guitar stuff. Cites Ani Difranco as an influence, but I only hear that in the quality of some of her open tunings. Her guitar technique is strong, but more delicate than Ani. Paste's comparisons to Elliot Smith and Nick Drake are probably more accurate. Her voice also some of that same girly-but-powerful quality, but with a little bit more of that folkish, world-weary quality. I actually think Kristin Hersh comparisons would be accurate here. (timjy@sbcglobal.net)

Damn that CD is good. (onealien@mo.himolde.no)

Lovely, uncluttered pop. (JoAnn Whetsell)

One of the best of 2006. (gordodo@optonline.net)


Duets

2005—DetErMine Records—DEMCD04; V2 Records—VVR1036852

Availability:

Wide in Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Ane Brun

Guest artists:

Syd Matters (1)
Madrugada (2)
Teitur (3)
Lars Bygdén (4)
Liv Widell (5)
Ellekari Larsson (The Tiny) (6)
Magnus Tingsek (7)
Tobias Fröberg (8)
Wendy McNeill (9)
Ron Sexsmith (10)

Produced by:

Syd Matters (1); HP Gundersen and Madrugada (2); Ane Brun (3, 5-7, 10); Lars Bygdén (4); Linus Larsson (4, 8); Katharina Nuttall (5, 10); Ellekari Larsson (The Tiny) (6); Magnus Tingsek (7); Tobias Fröberg (8); Per Wikström and Wendy McNeill (9)

Comments:

One of the best of 2006. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)

I haven't heard the whole album, but what I've heard is excellent. Includes three tracks from A Temporary Dive (US version) and a country-ish song with Lars Bygdén. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Ane Brun—Live in Scandinavia

Release info:

2007—DetErMine Records—DEMCD07

Availability:

Europe

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Ane Brun—vocals, acoustic guitar, piano

Guest artists:

Staffan Johansson—electric guitar & lap steel
Nina Kinert—backing vocals, piano, percussion
Andreas Forsman (The DMF String Quintet)—violin, backing vocals
Erik Arvinder (The DMF String Quintet)—viola, backing vocals
Christopher Öhman (The DMF String Quintet)—viola, backing vocals
Erik Holm (The DMF String Quintet)—viola, backing vocals
Linnea Olsson (The DMF String Quintet)—cello, backing vocals, percussion; string arrangement (9)
Leo Svensson—string arrangement (16)
The DMF String Quintet—string arrangement (4, 8, 10, 14)
Marlene Bay Landin—all other string arrangements

Produced by:

Ane Brun

Comments:

Just beautiful, and a must-have for fans. The DMF String Quartet really sets off Ane's songs and gives them a wonderful new sound. The best tracks, like "This Voice" with pizzicato strings, seem even more introspective than their studio versions. The 18-track album includes one new song, a wonderful (and almost unrecognizable) cover of PJ Harvey's "The Dancer," and a Jeff Buckley cover. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Changing of the Seasons

Release info:

2008—Cheap Lullaby Records—CLR-028

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Ane Brun—acoustic guitars, vocals, backing vocals, percussion

Guest artists:

Staffan Johansson—bass and electric guitars
Martin Hederos—keyboards, backing vocals, percussion
Erik Nilsson—marimba, drums, percussion
Nina Kinert—backing vocals
Rachel Davies—backing vocals
Christian Kjellvander—backing vocals (5)
Tobias Fröberg—bouzouki, backing vocals (5)
Gunnar Jónsson—backing vocals (1)
Malene Bay-Landin—piano (9); string arrangements (3, 4, 9)
Gréta Guðnadóttir—violin
Pórarinn Már Baldursson—viola
Jónína Auður Hilmarsdóttir—viola
Borgar Magnason—contrabass
Una Sveinbjarnardóttir—violin
Hrafnkell Orri Egilsson—cello
Helgi Hrafn Jónsson—trombone
Ari Bragi Kárason—trumpet
Valgeir Sigurdsson—percussion
Erik Arvinder—string arrangement (1)
Nico Muhly—string arrangements (2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13)

Produced by:

Valgeir Sigurdsson

Comments:

Great voice, a bit quiet and delicate as an album, but she's so distinct. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Another superb effort. There are some charming songs that are really delightful and others, darker than her previous work, that are really compelling. (JoAnn Whetsell)


Sketches

Release info:

2010

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

A lovely collection of demos. The arrangements don't differ much from the album versions, but they're airy and intimate given the minimal instrumentation. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Live at Stockholm Concert Hall

Release info:

2011

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Comments:

This album has a very different feel than Live in Scandinavia, much more of a lively full band affair. I like both approaches, and I think songs like "The Fall" and "My Lover Will Go" really shine on this album. The quiet "True Colors" and the new studio recording "My Baby's Arms" which close out the album are a striking contrast. (JoAnn Whetsell)

It All Starts With One

Release info:

2011—Balloon Ranger Recordings

Availability:

Europe, soon U.S.

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Ane Brun—vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitars

Guest artists:

Martin Hederos—keyboards, violin
Ola Hulgren—drums, percussion
Per Ekluyn—drums, percussion, backing vocals
linnea Olsson—cello, backing vocals
Tobias Fröberg—percussion, keyboards, tape loops
Peter Maré—bass (4)
Lars Skoglun—drums (4)
Jennie Abrahamson—backing vocals (7)
Ellekari Larsson—vocals vocals (10)
First Aid Kit—backing vocals (4)
José Gonzales—vocals (3)

Produced by:

Tobias Fröberg

Comments:

Ane Brun is one of those artists I find it difficult to describe. This album is a mix of her most fragile ("What's Happening with You and Him" and "Lifeline," and "The Light From One") and her most compelling (the title track) and those that are a mix of the two ("These Days", the first track). "Do You Remember" is pure fun. "Worship," the duet with José Gonzales, is really lovely. A fine album. (Neile)

One of the best albums of the year. (JoAnn.Whetsell, christina_skov@hotmail.com)


When I'm Free

Release info:

2015—SONY (Scandinavia)—DEMCD15

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Ane Brun—vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitars

Guest artists:

Andreas Wrlin—drums (3, 4, 5); percussion (5)
Dan Berglund—double bass (1, 4, 9)
Johan Lindström—electric guitars (10); pedal steel (2, 6, 8, 9)
Johannes Berglund—synths (2, 3); synth pads (9); synth bass outro (9)
John Eriksson—mallets/sounds (2); percussion (3); timpani (4); kickdrum/snare (9)
Lars Skoglund—drums (1, 2, 8, 9); high hat (3)
Linnéa Olsson—backing vocals (3, 6)
Martin Hederos—keyboards (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10)
Mikael Häggström—percussion (3)
Nina Kinert—backing vocals (3)
Ola Hultgren—drums (3, 56 ); percussion (4, 5)
Sabina Dduma—guest vocals (3)
Thombias Gabrielsson—bass (3, 5, 6)
Tobias Fröberg—cymbals (4); drum programming (1, 3 9); hi hat (9); percussion programmming (5); string machine (6); strings (1, 7)
Joakin Milder—conductor & string arrangements (1, 7)
Ann Christin Wingård Ward—viola (1, 7)
Annette Mannheimer—violin (1, 7)
Bo Söderströom—violin (1, 7)
Elisaveth Arnberg—viola (1, 7)
Hanna Göoran—violin (1, 7)
Helen Nelsson—cello (1, 7)
Ingegerd Kierkedgaard—viola (1, 7)
Iskandar Komilov—violin (1, 7)
Jana Boutani—cello (1, 7)
Svien H. Martinsen—viola (1, 7)
Ulf Forsberg—biolin (1, 7)
Veronika Novotna—violin (1, 7)

Produced by:

Tobias Fröberg & Ane Brun

Comments:

NIce altpop songs, but as a whole I prefer other albums of hers. Here my favourites are "Directions" and Shape of a Heart," and the didactic, urgent "Better Than This," which is a classic. Or should be. (Neile)

Further info:

Compilation work includes:

  • "She Belongs to Me"* on Subterranean Home Sick Blues: A Tribute to Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home (2010)
  • "My Star" with Operaorkesteret on Dugnad for Haiti (2010)
  • Eurythmics cover "It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)"* on Amnesty International and Buffetlibre's release PEACE
  • "If I Had a Ribbon Bow"* on Beautiful Star—The Songs of Odetta (2009)
  • two Henrik Schwarz remixes of "Headphone Silence" on Objektivity, Volume One (2008)
  • "Falling Down"* on St. Thomas: Walk With Me (2008)
*Track otherwise unavailable

Collaborations include:

  • "Lift Me" with Madrugada on their album The Best of Madrugada (2010)
  • "Innan Du Gar" with Theresa Andersson on her album Hummingbird, Go! (2009)
  • "Trust in Your Love" with Bliss on their album No One Built This Moment (2009); remixes appear on Bliss' Trust in Your Love EP (2010) and Remixes album (2010)
  • "Tomorrow" with Tobias Fröberg on his album Turn Heads (2008)
  • "Love and Misery" with Tobias Fröberg on his album Somewhere in the City (2006)
  • "This Road" with Lars Bygdén on his album Trading Happiness for Songs (2005)
Ane's song "My Star" was covered by Elisabeth Holmertz and Fredrik Bock on their album Love Songs Re-Spelled (2010).


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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