Love is a battlefield
Love is a supremely destructive force in Ane Brun’s songs, which document the devastation that ineluctably follows romance. It’s a fitting subject for the Scandinavian singer/songwriter, whose voice can be as tender as a bruise or as sharp as blame. On Changing of the Seasons, her quietly intense fifth album (but only her second to get a U.S. release), she and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson keep the music minimal—usually with only piano or guitar accompaniment—to highlight her expressive vocals and create a lonely, late-night mood. “Ten Seconds” and “Armour” add ominous strings and backing vocals to suggest some unspeakable emotional violence, and opener “The Treehouse Song”—perhaps the perkiest song here—uses its skipping-stone hook to recount grave disappointments. At times, Seasons threatens to collapse under the weight of so much pathos, but thanks to her singular voice and eccentric songwriting, Brun makes extreme heartache sound particularly inspired.