Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
In the entire canon of popular music's many different forms of love songs, the best ones tend to come from the point of view of someone who just can't make any fucking sense about why it went wrong. But, to be clear, this doesn't include the songs that can sound ill-tempered or by someone holding a major gripe, someone unable to not feel completely and hopelessly wronged to a disturbing end. It's the category that is filled by songs that still feel like the love that came before the fallout, of the time and the place where it all began, without malice and sullenness ever being a glimmer in either party's flaming eyes. These remain as the tender declarations that they could have been in the middle of all the new romance, when time seemed to stand still and rush by like a dragster all at once. It's the kind of spell that the blood gets put on it during this swooning process, where it's hot and flooded with all of these odd new endorphins that take over the senses, start running the show and before anyone knows it, the plug's been pulled and the comedown has already begun - and it's in that moment of ill-configuration when these songs of loss and unabashed reflection are at their apex, when they are able to just get it all out there in an unprocessed, unedited plume. Ane Brun, the Norwegian of the sweetest of voices and the most melancholic of guitar playing, should be considered for the poet laureate of this unglamorous, but fascinating period of time amongst the heart's pieces of rubble. She writes and sings as if there's really not the unbearable sadness of loss punishing her with torturous treatments and sleepless, tear-welling, tear-streaming jags, but more in awe of the vast array of new disquieting and somewhat cathartic, while still painfully raw, realizations about what this new ending all means for her. "The Treehouse Song," from her latest album "Changing of the Seasons," is such a brilliant example of her songwriting talents at their finest as she sings of memories such as drinking intoxicatingly good wine as if there was a race to be won and then figuratively painting rooms in the house they were in the bright yellows of joyful sunshine - but this is all past tense and the chorus goes, in a lovely gallop, "I was gonna love you till the end of all daytime/and I was gonna keep all our secret signs and our lullabies/I was made to believe that our love would grow old/we were gonna live in a treehouse and make babies/and we were gonna bury our ex-lovers and their ghosts/baby we were made of gold." It's impossibly thrilling - this undeserving severance of something that was shared between two people who were "made of gold," who probably couldn't imagine this conclusion in a million years. There's no ringing anger or resentment, just matter-of-fact recognition and it ties into a general feeling that Brun brings to most of her music, this resolute impermanence that has to come to term. It's in the "…clearness of fall/how winter makes me reconsider it all," and you have where her aching drafts and her coolness come from, bracing her for all of the weather and storms that are bound to intrude.