Text : Florian Baudouin
Ane Brun is a true star in Scandinavia and more specifically in her Norwegian home. With five platinum discs, two golden ones and albums topping both Norwegian and Swedish charts, she has achieved a proven reputation.
With an almost two decade long career and after seven albums between 2003 and 2015, she hadn’t released any original material since “When I’m Free” in 2015, “Leave Me Breathless” (2017) being a covers album. We learn that the passing of her father is the main cause of this five years absence. Unlike her past experiences about which she states “dealing with everything that happens in [her] life through writing music”, this trauma cut off all her inspiration and even all her will. Four years later and the wound slowly healing, she first releases “After The Great Storm” on October 30th and immediately after announces next release “How Beauty Holds The Hand Of Sorrow” of which the release is scheduled only for the following month. It is thus a real double-album that is given to us after a five-years wait, and besides, that is what was first planned, but the global lockdown forced Ane Brun to change plans.
Those who follow Ane Brun closely know that her music largely evolved since her debut 17 years ago. Her first albums were in a resolutely folk and very american style and then progressively evolved to a more ambient style, sometimes almost electro-pop and much more Scandinavian.This album falls within a straight line of the previous ones. It opens with “Last Breath” (if we needed to remind you the mood of the album, it is now done), which the string outro may even resemble a cinema score. The piano is everywhere, and to that are added different layers of strings and synthesizers that add even more consistency and depth to the whole album. However, some tracks such as “Meet You At The Delta” will be enjoyable for early fans thanks to the guitar picking that is so dear to Ane. From a general point of view, the album and its title match perfectly. It is about loss, trial, sadness but is never whiny and is highly cathartic. As its name implies, it endeavours to find a good side to difficult things in life. The album ends with a piano version of “Don’t Run And Hide”, a track that was on “After The Great Storm”, with which we understand that Ane Brun is far from saying her last word and repeats to us: “I’m here for you”.
Ballon Ranger Recordings