PopCrush Presents: AURORAby Matthew Scott Donnelly | PopCrush
Every week at PopCrush, we’re putting the spotlight on one up-and-coming act you need to know about. Why? So you can get on board early before everyone else and their mother jumps on the bandwagon…and so you can be that one friend in the group who’s always like, “Um, actually, I prefer their earlier work.”
Scientists say aurora—the natural leaching of red, green or blue light through the sky—is often the product of solar wind. The phenomenon’s namesake, 19-year-old AURORA, is conceivably propelled by the same—a simple sampling of her voice can warm, cool or drum up a gleam that will leave your senses stunned.
The Norwegian artist (full name: Aurora Aksnes) titles songs like they’ll appear on a soundtrack to emancipation—”Awakening” and “Runaway” are among her first few official singles. But she’s able to articulate power and independence with a clean, delicate touch: She’s a sledgehammer that asks politely before it hammers down, and it’s no coincidence she refers to her fans and followers “warriors.”
“I am indeed running, not with the wolves but like a wolf,” she wrote on her Facebook page amid the release of “Running with the Wolves,” her latest track. “Towards my instinct. And away from the city. We all need to run a bit, like animals.”
And though AURORA seems to be on the move, “Running with the Wolves” strikes with its heels planted. The indie-pop artist has the eerie power of Regina Spektor’s falsetto and glottal stops in her back pocket, but her tone carries more thickly as she presses for guile.
“Go ’round the boat to safer grounds / But don’t you know we’re stronger now / My heart still beats and my skin still feels / My lungs still breathe, my mind still fears,” she pronounces calmly, but with a sense of urgency all the same.
And while your ears are suitably occupied, AURORA’s contemporary choreography— frantic gestures coupled with panicked stares—will have you immediately screaming Sia! Still, her movements, performed from beneath muted separates and ice-queen coats, forge their own identity.
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