Young Norwegian pop artist impresses on debut album
19 year old Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA made her first waves in the music industry when her debut single ‘Runaway’ created quite some buzz on the internet in 2015. With the next release, ‘Running With The Wolves’, she managed to build her name as promising new artist even more. Her distinctive vocals, fairytale like songs and quirky personality received a bigger audience when she covered Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ for the John Lewis Christmas advert in the UK and now it is finally time to hear her first full body of work, debut album All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend.
In an interview with A Bit of Pop Music AURORA explained how her album “almost sounds schizophrenic, as every track is so different to one another”. While she was totally right about that, she managed to make her first record a cohesive work of art, both in terms of sound and the stories she tells. She regularly switches between acoustic and electronic sounds, intimate moments and big, dramatic ones, but all packed in catchy pop melodies and performed with a passionate and convincing vocal delivery. When listening all the way through the album for the first time, it is easy to forget Aurora Aksnes, who (co-)wrote every song, is not even 20 years old yet.
Take for example the track ‘I Went Too Far’, which has been a highlight in her live shows so far. In the verses she regretfully sings how she went too far trying to please someone, but in the almost euphoric and infectious chorus she begs: “give me some love and hold me tight”. The track is exceptionally well written and actually stands a chance of becoming her first big international hit with the right promotion. It is one of the most poppy moments, together with the just as catchy and upbeat ‘Conqueror’ and of course the single ‘Running With The Wolves’, that actually made it into A Bit of Pop Music’s list of best songs of 2015.
Other than the poppy melodies, AURORA definitely shows a darker side to her art as well with the creepy, but captivating ‘Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)’ as the most obvious example. On the moody ‘Home’ she is thinking about life and sings: “We are not alive, we are surviving every time”. Quite deep, right? She goes a little darker on ‘Under The Water’. The track opens with the lyrics: “Under the water we can’t breathe, under the water we die… Then why do we jump in?” Her delivery is captivating and the track suddenly builds up to a powerful chorus with heavy drums. All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend surely is an album full of surprises.
The album is a perfect introduction to this young artist, who could definitely become the next big thing. There is just something about her, her fairytale like songs and those irresistibly strong pop melodies. If this is what she can come up with at the age of 19, I can’t wait to hear the masterpiece she will produce in five years time.
Must listen: Running With The Wolves, Runaway, I Went Too Far, Under The Water, Conqueror
Update: AURORA went as far as Iceland to record her new video for ‘I Went Too Far’. The result is just as gorgeous as the song.