INTERVIEW: AURORA releases new album 'A Different Kind of Human – (Step II)'
Aurora, full name Aurora Aksnes is one of the most charismatic, intriguing and creative artists to emerge from Norway’s current wave of female artists. Since releasing her first single at age sixteen back in 2012, Aurora has continued to evolve her otherworldly, esoteric sound, and with her third album A Different Kind of Human – (Step II), out today, she expands her sound into an all-embracing pop aesthetic.
The result is something truly special. With a greater focus on electro-pop than her previous albums, tracks like first single ‘Animal’, with its synth-laden chorus, place Aurora well and truly on the dancefloor. There is a similar vibe on ‘In Bottles’, with its jittery, frantic beat and soaring melodies, whilst ‘Apple Tree’ mixes a rap vibe with 1980-esque beats.
Like most of Aurora’s art, A Different Kind of Human – (Step II) has a strong, beating heart at the core of its music. Album highlight ‘Dance on the Moon’ is a heartwarming, swirling baroque pop beauty which grabs hold of you and refuses to let go and tracks like ‘The Seed’ is a plea to all of us to act to prevent the destruction of the planet: “When the last tree has fallen / And the rivers are poisoned / You cannot eat money”, she sings.
We recently caught up with Aurora to talk more about the creation of A Different Kind of Human – (Step II).
Hi Aurora, thanks for chatting to us! Your new album is out today, how are you feeling?
Yes, it’s coming! I'm very excited, it is Step 2 but it is definitely not the last step.
Last year you released the EP Infections of a Different Kind (Step I) and now we have A Different Kind of Human (Step II). What do the different steps represent?
Throughout all of my career I have been working on emotional education. I think that's what my music in general intends to do, to emotionally educate people. It all began with album one where I wanted people to look at their own issues and then Step I was more about looking outwards to the world, looking around you, what's happening and accepting. Step II is about really gathering an army to fight for the people that cannot fight for themselves yet. There are many species, many people and many things out there that need us to fight for them.
The album is quite political in places isn’t it? You sing about the environment, looking after our bodies and mental health.
Yes, it has a very big perspective this one, it's quite political. One song is very personal, ‘Apple Tree’, it's about living your life with a purpose and it has a lot of references to my childhood and my experiences as a child. It’s very personal but still very political. Step II is quite a political anthem because that's how I feel right now.
What do you think we need to do to pull together to save the environment?
At the moment, my music needs to be a tool because I want people to understand that we're very much together in this situation. It's interesting how we have to work together and how we have to have respect and how we have to listen to each other and understand each other in order to not, you know just explode - it could happen if we don't learn how to really co-exist. Already, a lot of people, a lot of animals and a lot of the planet are suffering because we, all of us, the entire population of the world, haven't yet understood how to really co-exist with nature and technology and with each other. I just feel like we have to make these things a bit more fun, we have to make environmental awareness a bit more fun. And you can do that with music.
If there is one messge you want listeners to take away from the album, what is it?
I really want people to believe they can change a lot just by changing the way they live their lives. We should all live our lives more environmentally friendly. You don't have to be oblivious to be happy.
What’s next for Aurora?
Well, everything is so much fun right now and I’m already making my next album - and it will be even better than this one!
A Different Kind of Human – (Step II) out now. You can buy, download and stream here