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CD Review: Ane Brun

It All Starts With One (PIAS America)

Ane Brun has been a chart-topping star in her native Norway for nearly a decade, making her mark with a dramatic but understated approach that combines the tenderness of 1970s Laurel Canyon folk with a cinematic whoosh that's part Tin Pan Alley, part ornate adult pop. On her latest stateside release, Brun's voice fills tracks like "Worship" (featuring Swedish indie folkie José González) with burbling beats and watery synths that tickle the folk strum like breakers on the shoreline. Everything on It All Starts With One shines with moody, slow-burn intensity — especially the record's highlight, "One," where the Psycho cellos, charging piano, and multi-tracked backing vocals feel creepily obsessive. Brun's haunted and brooding songs are so keenly rendered that you'll shiver as you hit repeat. — Chris Parker

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