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Aurora’s album All my demons greeting me as a friend recently came to my attention in an unusual place, The Andrew Marr Show one Sunday morning. When I heard Aurora’s voice I was swept away. I did not realise at the time that I had heard her voice before during the John Lewis Christmas 2015 promotion where they used a song by Oasis, which she covered called “Half the World Away”.
Aurora Aksnes, known as Aurora on her CD, is from Norway, as much as I know about her now. One thing I do know is that her debut album is incredible, her voice, lyrics and atmospheric music just transport me to a different world.
The last time I felt that about a female singer was when I came across the Icelandic singer Bjork. It is hard to describe the music, sometimes I can feel that it is a little folky, sometimes a lullaby and then it becomes something else.
The drums are beautiful and do not overwhelm Aurora’s voice. You also have electronic music in there too all mixing in an amazing sound that will carry you away into another world.
Aurora’s “All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend” was her breakout album, though I understand that she has an EP out before this I am yet to hear. On the version I have, there are 12 tracks but on the deluxe version, there are another 4 tracks.
The first track called “Runaway” starts as quite folky as mentioned earlier but the tempo picks as with many of her lyrics get stuck in your head and are very hard to shake off. In the chorus, she sings “I got no other place to go “Now take me home” where the tempo picks and you have to sing along too.
Track 2, Conqueror, is what I would call a ‘poppy’ song on the whole album. But her beautiful clear vocals shine out in this track.
For me, track 3, Running with wolves, is probably the strongest song on the album. I dare you not be singing the chorus after a few listens to the album. The phrasing on this track does remind me of Bjork.
There is a lot of multi-tracking on this song. the drum is like a heartbeat throughout, there are guitars and keyboards on this track. The bass kicks in with the chorus in which she sings, “I’m running with the wolves tonight, I’m running with the wolves, I’m running with the wolves tonight, I’m running with the wolves.” if you want to listen to the track go to YouTube and catch the video to this track https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06ht9MyJLT4
Track 4, Lucky, is a ballad, much slower than most of the tracks on here but you need to listen to appreciate the beauty and clarity of her voice.
Track 5 which is called Winter Bird is a laid-back ballad, the tempo just lifts a little once you get into the song.
Track 6 again this track being very slow, picking up tempo then it goes into an incredible chorus in which she sings, ‘Crying ‘give me some love, give me some love and hold me, Give me some love and hold me tight, Oh, give me some love, give me some love and hold me, Give me some love and hold me tight.’ after hearing this track no one can resist giving this track some loving.
Skipping to track 8 Warrior is a beautiful mix of vocals and music perfectly blended, the chorus builds up into a crescendo of vocals and drums that lifts you
Track 9 Murder Song begins with disturbing lyrics, ‘He holds the gun against my head, I close my eyes and bang I am dead, I know he knows that he’s killing me for mercy’ this is offset by very upbeat music that makes this track a bizarre mix. in the song she justifies the action by singing ‘Oh, he did it all to spare me from the awful things in life that come and he cries and cries.’
Track 10 is a very dreamy song called ‘Home’ that could lull you into another world. again her vocals are perfect in the first line of Aurora’s song “Lost in the moment again…” I would be more than happy to be lost in moments when listening to this track.
Track 11 Underwater and track 12 Black Water Lilies are both uplifting and yet make you want to remain in the place it transports you to.
I highly recommend All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend to everyone. it will chill you out, make you think and you will simply want to bask in the beauty and clarity of Aurora’s voice. For me listening to this album is an experience and should not be played as background music but sit down, close your eyes and enjoy.
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Also look at my post about Fifi Rong, an incredible singer from China based in London. To read that post then click here
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