I am a lover of the avant-garde.
I know, I know. It’s difficult to hear that nowadays without feeling the pressing need for a dramatic eye-roll. But it’s true. Heck, I’ll sit through art films and genuinely enjoy them. If it’s a little weird, a little on the edge, I am all in. I am not above a full-blown obsession.
Aurora Aksnes is almost at obsession-level for me. She is the best art-pop songstress from Norway you’ve never heard of. Known professionally as Aurora, Aksnes has amassed an impressive and devoted following at the young age of 22. Her musical style can best be described as a fusion between Icona Pop, Florence and the Machine, and a church choir.
If breathy hymns that you can dance to are your thing, Aurora will make you see stars.
Despite her young age, Aksnes has been on the scene for a while. She first began releasing music in 2012 at the age of 16. Her 2016 EP ‘All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend’ was a bonafide indie hit and led to international recognition and a successful European tour. Now, Aurora appears to be gearing up to take the States by storm.
Her next studio album, ‘Infections of a Different Kind’ is expected to be released in late 2018. The first two singles released off that album, ‘Queendom’ and ‘Forgotten Love’ play right into Aurora’s strengths as an artist. Her lyrics are senseless but hint at a deeper meaning. Both songs are heavy on symbolism in their verses and include catchy choruses that do not skimp on the high notes.
Forgotten Love leans into Aurora’s indie cred a little more than Queendom does. The result is a beautiful track that is just as likely to be played in a club somewhere in France as it is in a Midwestern mall.
Can you tell if I’m cold?
If I’m out of daydreams?
If I lose what is loved?
Will a new love awake me?
I am touched by wonder
When I’m blind in the dark
I have no idea what any of that means, but it’s pretty and sounds deep as hell.
Aurora’s style is not for just anyone. Those with more conventional musical tastes than I may find her ‘fairy queen meets the fifth element’ aesthetic a bit much. She is not a Top 40 artist by any definition. Based on her career thus far, I seriously doubt she wants to be.
If you require songs to have a plotline or to centre on the concrete, I would steer clear of this artist. But for those that see music as art and crave a different sound every once in a while, Aurora’s ‘Forgotten Love’ will lift you up and make you want to lean into the nonsense.
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