Ane Brun
Changing of the Seasons
(Cheap Lullaby)


When Scandinavian songbird Ane Brun sings, she evokes a “haunted Dolly Parton minus the drawl,” said Barry Walters in Spin. Born in Norway and now living in Sweden, the 32-year-old sounds at once “simply devastating” and “oddly reassuring” on Changing of the Seasons. Her U.S. debut—a quiet, almost fragile collection of songs about love and its contradictions—“rewards intimate listening.” Producer Valgeir Sigurosson, known for his work with Björk, drapes Brun’s delicate melodies in “tissue-thin layers that expose her quavering soprano’s vulnerability.” He keeps the arrangements sparse, so her austere lyrics shine, said Stephen Deusner in Paste. On “The Fall,” Brun—backed by spare, ominous accompaniment—sings: “We were wrong, to stay this long / Let me go, let me fall to the ground.” Her voice can be “as tender as a bruise” and her songwriting “as sharp as blame.” But, at times, the album “threatens to collapse under the weight of so much pathos.” Brun herself, however, never seems emotionally overwrought, said Nate Chinen in The New York Times. On “Lullaby for Grown-ups,” she coos, “Rest your head” then follows with the quip, “You can’t keep the sky from falling, anyway.” Throughout Changing of the Seasons, she seems “disarmingly secure, if not quite serene.”