Last year, with Songs 2003–2013 and Rarities, singer and guitarist Ane Brun created a staggering three-plus-hour, 52-song tour of her time thus far as an artist. Over that decade she put out six studio albums, won two Norwegian Grammys, toured with Peter Gabriel and performed Björk’s “Jóga” with a full orchestra in front of the Icelandic star herself.
Originally a folksinger, the Norway-born Stockholmer, currently on a monthlong solo acoustic tour of North America, is a cross-genre ace of emotional nuance. The same needle-precise voice that delicately thanks a cherished country musician for work that “caressed my skin / Just like when someone finally holds you and you can give in” (on 2008’s “Gillian”) breaks into swelling doo-wop that could swivel Elvis’s hips (on 2011’s “Do You Remember”). That virtuosity surely fuels Brun’s passion for and dedication to interpretation, not just of others’ work (Cyndi Lauper, Arcade Fire, Nina Simone), but also her own. In her 2013 reinvention of an early song, “This Voice,” Brun the alchemist translates a demure folk number into a sensual, percussion-driven convocation. When, midway through, she begins channeling the kings of traditional Middle Eastern tarab, she makes it clear that her voice, while Scandinavian in origin, is a treasure international in nature.—Kate Crane