Early February, I went to visit AURORA’s concert at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, which was a magical, solidly-performed performance. The concert felt like a fairytale, with Aurora Aksnes as the pale, Norwegian princess at the center of the stage, surrounded by the magical creatures that form her band. The singer-songwriter, who is only 19 years old, was almost devastated by the positive response from the audience, that clapped for a couple of minutes after each song and gave her presents in between tracks.
Only a couple of days after her performance in Utrecht, AURORA released her highly anticipated debut album, titled “All My Demons Are Greeting Me As A Friend”. Over the course of the last year, AURORA has released quite a few tracks, which slowly but steadily transformed into hits. What is interesting about this, is that exactly those tracks entail the first three tracks of the record. The album starts with the dark and mysterious sounds of Runaway where the young songstress enchants her listeners with “Lord, take me home/home where I belong”.
From the dark opening track, “All My Demons Are Greeting Me As A Friend” transitions into the epic and bombastic Conquerer, which is usually AURORA’s finale song during her performances. Full of restless energy, the song presents Aurora as as fighter, who eventually wins from her fears. An idea which channels back to the title, of demons turning into friends, and to more tracks on the album. The beautiful and subtle track Through The Eyes Of A Child also describes Aurora emerging from the shadows, with warm piano tunes and her distinctive, dream-like voice, while Warrior features strong and confident drums, with Aurora singing “warrior, warrior/just reach out for the light”.
Other songs from the album tie very strongly to the fairytale feel, which is present throughout AURORA’s debut record. Her biggest single so far, Running With The Wolves paints a dark picture, with beating hearts and fearing minds, strong rhythms and subtle synths. Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) matches the idea of a fairytale of a girl fighting against the dark, but is somewhat more raw than the other tracks on “All My Demons Are Greeting Me As A Friend”. The focus of the track is really on Aurora’s vocals, with are powerful and vulnerable all at the same time. It is a hypnotic track, designed to ghost around your brain days after you have heard it.
AURORA’s debut album “All My Demons Are Greeting Me As A Friend” is a haunting, beautiful and dark fairytale. A triumph from the 19-year-old singer-songwriter, who has battled her demons and wholeheartedly won.