A rumble of thunder with the scent of rain

Ane Brun’s new album “After the Great Storm” is a delectable assortment of music and prose


Vae O’Neil, A&E Editor


As we enter the final two months of 2020, people are looking to next year for hope, and maybe even a break from all the mayhem and hullabaloo that the last 10 months (and counting) have brought us. Many dream of unity and compassion rising out from the divisive and stubborn work in which we now live. Ane Brun’s latest album, “After the Great Storm,” encompasses that emotion of humanitarian thirst for concord, with masterful poetry and an impactful voice.

Ane Brun (pronounced Ah-na Broon), is a Norwegian singer, guitarist and songwriter; she’s been making music for nearly two decades, no doubt the product of being raised in a musical family as daughter of a jazz-singing and piano-playing mother. “After the Great Storm” has a pervading mood immediately present from the first track to the very end; the sound is serene, sometimes bittersweet and stoic, and sometimes a little happier and content. A particular talent of Brun’s is her prose and poetry; her voice and the lyrics are front and center in these songs, sweetened and reinforced by their musicality as would a film be enriched by its score.

One particular song that stands out is “We Need a Mother,” an artful rallying cry for peacemaking that can be assumed to address humanity as a whole. It begins with rage; “I feel rage / because of what I see / it’s breaking down my illusions of humanity.” Right off the bat listeners are given themes of disillusionment from mankind’s self-image, and outrage at what really going on; this could be in reaction to an almost endless list of things that have occurred this year that would inspire a soul-deep disappointment in humanity, so it’s fruitless to speculate which. The core of the song is headed by leaders, and leadership and family; “we need a mother/ we need a father / a Moses to separate the waters.” In this context, mothers, fathers and spiritual leaders have all been roles that traditionally bring about unity, or at least intend to; what’s more, the inclusion of Moses could be a way of saying we’re in need of a miracle to save our sorry behinds from climate change, institutionalized prejudices, or generally just not being nice to each other.

The final resounding question that this song asks, quite literally, is “Is disillusionment / the final segment of our brilliance?” by this, Brun is asking how much longer the human race will continue to realize its mistakes, before finally starting to fix them. If it is even capable of doing so at all.

“We Need a Mother” is one of the songs of this album with a clear and more ironclad message; other tracks, such as the album’s namesake “After the Great Storm,” are much more abstract and fantastical creations that focus on sensation and imagery to carry their message along. Regardless of the range of artistic expression, Ane Brun’s “After the Great Storm” is much like a chocolate truffle; smooth, rich and oh-so-delicious.