It All Starts With One
(Pias) America Records, 2012
REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/18/2012
Though a relatively new name on this side of the Atlantic, in her home country of Norway Ane Burn has already picked up their equivalent of a Grammy for Best New Artist, and she even joined the legendary Peter Gabriel on tour and sang on his most recent disc. Taking up help from First Aid Kit and the always luminous Jose Gonzalez, Brun just dropped her fourth solo studio disc It All Starts With One, and this calming and often heartbreaking listen certainly has the potential to make her a global name.
Brun’s flawless voice is undoubtedly the focal point here, her pipes carrying the listener on a haunting, often stark journey. Though most tracks are slow and quiet, rarely moving past a gentle hush, “One” moves at a quicker pace, though it’s followed by “The Light From Love,” a despondent track with eerie piano melodies that just bleeds pure emotion. Not surprisingly, the standout track is “Words,” a duet with Gonzalez. The way their two voices work together seems so fluid, so in tune with each other, you almost wish the entire disc contained contributions from Gonzalez.
There’s a lot of diversity amid these tracks as Brun manages to sound angelic yet mystical, graceful yet full of raw emotion. With a lot of rather cinematic brooding evident here, it’s not hard to envision listening to this on a late night walk when you just want to mull things over. Though Brun’s sound originated with a folk and blues vibe, she’s now refined her work into more orchestral and often devastating balladry, and this offering is proof that Brun can transform those ideas into sound with the best of them.
It All Starts With One has already gone to #1 on the charts in Sweden (her current home); not bad for a woman who writes, records and releases her own music. It’s well worth a listen if you’re intrigued by Regina Spektor, and if you happen to catch Ani DiFranco on tour anytime soon, keep an eye out for Brun playing with her.