Ane Brun Reluctantly Becomes Our Personal Oprah

Last week Norwegian songstress Ane Brun reminded a room full of L.A. kids that they had hearts — for a minute. The “thinking-Scandinavian-man’s Dolly Parton” played Union Hall last week, so if you live in New York, you know what we mean.

Brun has been on a North American tour promoting her new record Changing of the Seasons, with Tobias Froberg, a former journalist who retired his pen after fulfilling his dream of interviewing Neil Young. The deceptively simple songs on Changing of the Seasons are a lot like an early morning drive through the countryside on what will be a hot day — peripheral thoughts of impending battles ahead.

While such fare could be a downer, on stage Brun is animated, waving around as if possessed. Our favorite song, “The Puzzle,” describes letting your heart be vulnerable and how others can take advantage of that. The lyrics say it all: “I walked into love. I walked into a minefield I’d never heard of.” When she performs this track you know that everyone in the room is quietly reliving their own heartbreak. It’s an eerie feeling that makes you feel dark inside, but in a good way.

And in a way that made us want to know more about Brun. After the jump, Flavorwire sits down with the Swedish dish for an impromptu backstage therapy session that she barely tolerated.

The end result? Some much-needed catharsis.

Flavorwire: Changing of the Seasons was perfect to listen to after a break up and going through a lot of darkness. All those feelings started blossoming.

Ane Brun: In a good way?

FW: Absolutely! Is that more or less what it was all about?  Where did all these songs come from?

AB: They come from my own experiences and experiences of my friends and family.

FW: Uh, what song is it that starts out with “I walked into love”?

AB: “The Puzzle”

FW: That’s my favorite. So you said that was about a friend’s experience?

AB: Yeah, but you know it’s not something that is hard to relate to.

FW: Of course, that’s something everyone can relate to. Still it’s so personal and so direct. Your last record was also personal, but Changing of the Seasons seems to be a lot more focused around coping with demons.

AB: I’m in a different stage, like my stories, I’ve had three more years of experience, and also how I search for what I want to hear in myself, I’ve gotten to learn more about where I want to go. I really feel that Changing of the Seasons is for me very close to what I want to do.

FW: So it was a part of evolving on your own your own part, musically and spiritually.

AB: Yeah.

FW: Did you work with Froberg before? I noticed that you did a song together.

AB: He produced a couple of my songs recently, but not on this album.

FW: Where are you going? What are you doing?

AB: Oh. We’re going to Chicago.

FW: Uh, no, musically… perhaps you’re probably already working on new stuff?

AB: Not very much, I have no ideas.

FW: So you’re throwing in the towel?

AB: I’m kind of more…I’m building up a concept of what I want to do, I’m in an abstract world of thinking about where to go.

FW: Are there any images or feelings or colors or something? Anything?

AB: Nothing that I want to talk about, it’s so much in the air.

FW: Ok, then.

– Thomas Hillard