SXSW Preview: Aurora

Aurora (Aksnes) seems something of a prodigy from her Wikipedia entry. She started writing music at the age of 10, released tracks at 16, and had signed with Decca Records when she was 18. Even The Guardian and the BBC have picked up on her precipitous rise. But you needn’t take other’s words at face (or ear) value. Running with the Wolves is clearly a strong effort from any would be singer-songwriter, let alone one at the age of 20.

While the distinctly Nordic bass line draws one close, it’s the choir that does one in. The imagery blends and transforms itself so seamlessly into that of a deathly struggle over a moonlit fjord at -20C that you might have chills running down your spine. The quiet-to-loud, simplistic-to-multiplexed type of dynamic contrast is at work here, too. Of course, I’m under no illusion that the chorus is anything other than her own voice overlaid – but it is fun to suspend disbelief for a second and imagine if it were the Franciscan friars. It would sound so much more final. This is, indeed, that dramatic of a song. The name of her forthcoming (March 11) album – All My Demons Greeting Me as a Friend – is no less comprehensively dark. But who am I to argue with a shade of youthful nihilism as an means to an end, if the end is this interesting?

Posted on by Gary in South By Southwest

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