What? This Swede's second U.S. release finally arrives stateside this week. The record, which sees the emotive singer strum her guitar gingerly as her intoxicating warble flutters in soft loops, opens with "The Treehouse Song," a masterful story about the pitfalls of unfulfilled promises. And the rest of the record follows in the same subtle and pensive fashion. To complement the record, Brun has also released Sketches, a revealing collection of demos from the Seasons sessions featuring sparse vocal, guitar, and piano tracks. Sketches is available online via Klicktrack.
Who? Despite not picking up the guitar until the age of 21, Norway's Brun, born Ane Brunvoll, has produced a steady stream of subtly heartfelt tunes since moving to Sweden in 2000. As the co-founder of artist collective/label DetErMine Records, Brun has released four full-lengths, including the 2005 collaboration Duets, which paired her with songwriters like Ron Sexsmith and Syd Matters. On her latest, Brun teamed with producer Valgeir Sigurosson (Björk, Múm, Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Coco Rosie) to mold her most cathartic and cohesive work yet.
Fun Fact: The winner of multiple Norwegian Spellemannsprisen (the equivalent of a Grammy) Brun actually got her start as a busker in Barcelona and San Sebastian, Spain, in the summer of 1998 -- a time the singer calls completely "unpretentious," when she was "young and free" with "no worries."
Now Hear This: Ane Brun - "The Puzzle"(DOWNLOAD MP3)
Watch the video for "Puzzle"