Ane Brun - It All Starts With One (PIAS America) 

Who’d keep pop-folk alive and kicking? This Norwegian would.

Ane Brun has been a 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. Everything here moves with moody, slow-burn intensity, especially "One," where the Psycho cellos, charging piano, and multi-tracked backing vocals feel creepily obsessive. Brun's haunted songs are so keenly rendered that you'll shiver as you hit repeat.

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