Yes, today’s theme was People We’ve Loved Before But Now Slightly Less So…
Brad Shoup: Surely there’s a bit of inspiration from Björk’s “Human Behavior” — the timpani working melodically, and the syncopated snare. This, plus the meta reference to drums, makes this a floorfiller in Brun’s world. She does a diva inversion, projecting confidence while crouching in the corner. It’s not exactly a buffalo stance, but it’ll kick around my brain for a little bit today.
Anthony Easton: Almost twenty seconds of something that sounds like an abstracted piano and timpani, before the angular voice of Ane Brun cuts through the music. Through the rest of the track, she rests lithely against the twinkle and the thump. It is so well constructed, glassy, isolated, and beautiful. When she starts counting steps, the work becomes corporeal, when she repeats it, it is less of a chorus than a movement through a chilling rain. Ending it with a cymbal just makes the whole thing shine.
Will Adams: The tumbling drums are the star, and Ane Brun navigates its bold texture like she does it every day. But with all the emphasis on the “beat of the drum,” I wonder why anyone thought to add a New Age spa piano.
Maxwell Cavaseno: What is that vibrato? You’re going for some kind of soul inflection, and you’re ending up with trembling grandma. This production is so limpid, yet despite doing very little musically its very full of itself and puffs out its chest more than a few times off the merits of what? OOOH, you threw in some dramatic sounding piano! Oh my days, are those… Are those ACOUSTIC BASS SOLOS? How bold! Never mind this middle-school poetry about wet shoes and trying to take that step. You didn’t even take the step. You’re making a big show of doing fuck all.
Jonathan Bogart: It would be hard to make a song more directly aimed at certain of my pleasure centers: a dance song, but with jazz instrumentation; archly removed but with an aching heartbeat just under the chilly surface; delivered in a wintry soprano. The fact that my mantra for the past half-dozen years has been “one foot in front of the other,” and that I can now trade it out for “step three…step…step four…step (bass solo),” is only icing on the cake.
Iain Mew: I still love her voice and there’s hints of the chilling tension she’s previously excelled in, but this one goes a bit step-by-step. The music is just too tightly controlled to match the vivid images, with too many careful details not adding up to that much force.
Katherine St Asaph: Ane Brun’s quavery vocal brushes aganst fairygloss pianos and jazz bass like they’re wind chimes. It’s its own little musical world, as removed from its peers as Narnia’s removed from your wardrobe, and it’s more magical that way.