Norwegian singer Ane Brun plays her only Irish date at Dublin’s Vicar Street on Saturday.
Norwegian-born songstress Ane Brun, celebrated her 10-year music career in 2013 with two album releases. Following a ‘Best Of’ earlier this year, she also released a 20-track album last month of rare and unreleased material entitled Rarities. Brun is currently on a two-month international tour and will play her only Irish date at Dublin’s Vicar Street on Saturday.
A gifted singer with a unique voice, Brun is also an incisive songwriter whose work defies pigeonholing. “It mostly starts with an emotion or a thought, something that puzzles me, whether it’s something in myself, society or human nature or a friend,” Brun says of her creative process. “I go from there to write without thinking and it usually starts to emerge, what I want to say. Once the intuitive process is over I go to more poetic thinking. I always use myself as a filter even when I’m writing about society or someone else.”
Brun’s solo work features mainly finger-picking guitar as accompaniment, but she also makes efforts to ensure she has a good band around her. “I always try to have a few musicians on tour with me who are quite free in their playing and confident to be artists. I want musicians to have a very clear voice and they’re often people who play a lot of different kinds of music. I’ve been spoiled to play with some really amazing musicians and on this tour I have some star musicians from Stockholm.”
From Leonard Cohen to Bjork, Brun has also recorded several cover versions. “The covers I’ve done have been really random. Sometimes they’re songs that someone has asked me to play or it might be something that’s been stuck in my head for weeks. It’s a fun creative challenge for me. I do listen to a lot of music though, I listen every day. On this tour we’ve all been sharing music and making playlists for each other, so I’ve been listening to everything from Bulgarian choir music to hip-hop.”
Brun seems to have a very clear idea of their own mind and aesthetic — who does she go to for feedback? “My manager Mikael is the first person who hears what I do. My producer on the last album Tobias Fröberg is a great friend and I trust his opinion. But I trust myself very much these days and what I feel in my stomach.”
Brun has also been a musical activist for climate justice, establishing the No More Lullabies project in 2009, a series of events that brought together artists to inspire action and conversation. “There are periods of our lives when there is not room to be so active. I don’t think everyone has to be an activist but if you have energy and a voice you should use it.
“It’s devastating how we’re not taking climate change as seriously as we should, how the big corporations still keep doing whatever they like. Now they’re drilling for oil in the Arctic.”
At this point, Brun is clearly enjoying being on tour and is open to what the next ten years holds. “The new album Rarities came out two months ago and with the 10th anniversary over too, now, I feel I can start fresh,” she says.
* Ane Brun plays Vicar Street on Saturday
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