Ane Brun's cover of Beyoncé's "Halo" burns the power ballad down to its essence. Brun, who hails from Norway, has spent her career merging classical singing with Seventies AM pop – and on "Halo," off her Rarities compilation, she strips the hit of all its flourishes to reveal the delicate core.
Gone are the thundering handclaps, regal piano chords and starry synths, replaced with a string quartet that includes cellist Linnea Olsson. Brun sings with a fragile vulnerability, slowing the song down to focus on every note. Her voice rises and falls with the cello as Olsson adds a precious few backing refrains.
"When I toured in 2009 with the Diamonds – me and three female voices – we made it a tradition to play 'Halo' on the mini-stereo backstage while putting on our makeup, warming up as we tried to sing along with Beyoncé on this beautiful melody," Brun told Rolling Stone. "This performance was something special, since Linnea did an arrangement for cello quartet, and that's such a beautiful sound. We've only performed it live once before, at a radio show as a special appearance when Beyoncé came to Stockholm earlier this year."
Rarities is out now and Brun is touring the US in February with Olsson. Check out their road itinerary below:
02/11 – Jammin Java – Vienna, VA
02/12 – Highline Ballroom – New York, NY
02/13 – L'Astral – Montreal, QC
02/14 – Rivoli – Toronto, ON
02/15 – Schubas Tavern – Chicago, IL
02/17 – Electric Owl – Vancouver, BC
02/18 – Crocodile Lounge – Seattle, WA
02/19 – Yoshis – San Francisco, CA
02/21 – Casbah – San Diego, CA
02/22 – The Mint – Los Angeles, CA
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- Ane Brun