Ane Brun – How beauty holds the hand of sorrow

Part two of a two-album companion piece, How Beauty sees Brun move into a slightly darker, slightly more serious, mindset to last month’s ‘After the great storm’ release.  Full of deeply introspective, highly emotive, symphonies, Brun fills ‘How’ with a variety of musical textures all of which fit together through a common theme (heartbreak) and a common voice (Brun’s soaring, almost theatrical, deliveries).  Opener ‘Last Breathe’, with its Spirtualized styled sweeping orchestra steals the album, though Closer and Gentle Wind of Gratitude, with their moments of piano minimalism and downtempo electronics, provide evidence that it’s not necessarily the musical environment which stands out on ‘How’; rather it’s Brun’s performance style and central narrative.  Ambitious, varied, and explorative; what a wonderful record.