• Shanley McConnell

AURORA | A Different Kind of Human, Step Two.

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AURORA (Laura Aksnes) sensitivity to poetic-language is powerful and comforting. If I had to choose one artist whose music has had one of the most uplifting places in my own writing over the last couple years, it would be her. Aksnes' work is a simultaneously compelling and chilling.


Her critically acclaimed debut album 'All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend' scored more than 200 million streams. Although her vocals are worthy of a powerhouse ballad (of which she most certainly provides), her range extends to lullabies and soft melodies. 'A Different Kind Of Human - Step 2' follows last year's mini-album 'Infections Of A Different Kind - Step 1.' In both, this Norwegian singer composes poems, skittering------soaring-------between choral sounds and heavy drums. Gorgeously haunting in its pulsing.


The first song in the album is called "The River," and the highlight of many reviews. It is perhaps my favorite from the collection. Her opening:


Hold your hands onto your chest and tell me what you find Out of you, a sparrow comes And sees without its eyes
Don't forget who you are even though you are hurt You are caught in a wire and soon it will burst
Come back to me When you're ready To reveal your worst

Isn't this the song we wish to sing over all those we want to love. To draw close and protect, knowing that we cannot always shield them from everything hard and hurtful, and in knowing this, still try.


"Dance On The Moon" is mesmeric in its imagery:


I feel time looking out my window Watching me dance on the moon."

"Soulless Creatures." Rich with crescendos, this song is a stunning poem about loss. Loss and love. Her careful use of rhyme in "The Seed" sounds gentle ...

I'm chasing the wonder I unravel myself All in slow motion

... and presents a beautiful image of what it feels like to seek after simple, sweet things.


The album is a call for listeners to live with vulnerability. It is a cinematic cry for humanity to

connect, embracing love to spite greed. Perhaps one of Aksnes' greatest skills is her ability to create atmospheric soundscapes through which she controls sound and lyric in balancing both music and meaning. This, in turn, demands deep listening.

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