An as-yet-untitled album of new material due this autumn, teased with the early singles Don’t Run And Hide, Trust and Feeling Like I Wanna Cry, marks Norwegian songwriter and label founder Ane Brun‘s first collection of originals in five years. For Trust, she invited her Instagram followers to a video chatroom for hour-long sessions in which they listened to each other’s stories.
“Many of the people who participated were alone in their homes, or with their cat or dog, a partner, or their family,” recalls Brun. “Some were in quarantine because they were infected with coronavirus or because they work in healthcare. A few were stuck abroad, far away from family and friends. What we had in common was that we were all affected by this difficult situation, and most of us were isolating from the outside world. We also felt a need to trust and meet other people. It was magical to come together like this.”
The theme of isolation is taken further in Don’t Run And Hide. “I try to encourage and remind anyone who’s in a dark place not to isolate themselves and not disappear into a state of fear, to reach out and show their vulnerability,” she says of the track.
Brun’s most recent album, 2017’s Leave Me Breathless, was a collection of reinterpretations of songs by Joni Mitchell, Nick Cave, Radiohead and others, a nod to some of the musicians who’ve influenced her own music down the years. All of which makes a This Music Made Me from Brun, in which she recalls the albums that have influenced her most and shares her thoughts on them, both timely and pleasingly inevitable…
Ella Fitzgerald – Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie (spotify)
In our household I heard more jazz standards than the more traditional Scandinavian songs, since my mum loved playing and singing them.
And my favourite was always Ella. It’s hard to pick one album, but I know this one by heart so I guess I must have listened a lot to it.
And I feel that my vocal technique and phrasing partly is influenced by singing along with Ellas voice throughout my teens and young years.
Ani DiFranco – Dilate (spotify)
I discovered Ani Difranco the same year as I started writing my own songs.
I was 21 and learned fingerpicking by printing guitar tabs from my slow internet connection in my student room in Oslo.
Her guitar playing, raw and personal lyrics and her independent take on the record industry influenced me immensely during my first few years as an aspiring singer songwriter and to choose to also start my own label in 2003, which I’m still running.
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love (spotify)
I’ll never forget the first time I put on this album.
I remember putting the CD on and that first bass line comes fading in… I was blown away!
And every single track is fantastic!
Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue (spotify)
I grew up with this album. I think I must have heard it from I was a toddler. And it never disappoints me even today!
I know every solo, every phrase, I even almost tattooed the first four bars of ”All Blues” in the back of my neck as a 22-year-old student, but changed my mind in the last minute.
The melodies and the coolness of this album is incredible.
Jeff Buckley – Grace (spotify)
I heard him for the first time at the Roskilde festival, and became a hard core fan after that.
I can’t imagine the amount of times I’ve listened to this album and sang along with his versatile voice and amazing vocal range.
I covered many of his songs early in my career, and recorded Morning Theft and So Real. I think his way of singing has influenced me a lot.
DJ Shadow – Endtroducing (spotify)
I love the dance music of the ’90s. Jazz mixed with beats.
This was my kind of music going out in my late teens and early 20s, and I still think it holds its ground.
My upcoming album is partly influenced by DJ Shadow and many of his peers’ sound from that time, and also recent artists who are influenced by that era.
Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi (spotify)
How cool is she! And how great is this album?!
I’ve known every line on this since it came out! I think Neneh was a big role model to girls in my generation!
I sometimes see her in Stockholm and I get really starstruck!
Joni Mitchell – Blue (spotify)
This was the first singer-songwriter fingerpicking album I really listened to.
And I was about 19-20 years old at the time. Shortly after that I got my first guitar and I played many of her songs.
Joni Mitchell is quite amazing, both as a vocalist and instrumentalist.
I’ve been very inspired and still enjoy this album so much.
Aretha Franklin – Jazz To Soul (spotify)
I had this compilation on CD, and played these songs on repeat through my teenage years.
And I sang along!
Gillian Welsh – Time (The Revelator) (spotify)
This album was my companion through many years. Such presence, such guitar playing.
And the final track I Dream A Highway taught me that a chorus phrase can go on repeat forever without losing my focus.
Ane Brun‘s latest singles Trust and Don’t Run And Hide are available through her label, Balloon Ranger Records. Both are taken from her new album, scheduled for release in autumn 2020. Tour dates and further information can be found at anebrun.com