11 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On her third album, Norwegian singer-songwriter and electronic producer Aurora Aksnes celebrates individual imperfection and the quest to evolve. “We have come here for you,” she chants on the title track, imagining aliens on a mothership retrieving someone too “pure” for this world so they can live in contentment. It’s at once wide-eyed science fiction and a grand metaphor worthy of Kate Bush, and AURORA is particularly good at putting intriguing interpretations into conversation with each other. Raised in the forested countryside on Norway’s west coast, the musician and vocalist creates synthesizer parts that burble, build, and ultimately stand unbowed—opening track “The River” reaches a panoramic sweep as the layered vocal parts intertwine. There are hints of Robyn’s coolly contained judgments and Bjork’s nature-infused grooves, but AURORA’s follow-up to 2018’s Infections of a Different Kind (Step I) has a distinct mix of mood and momentum that reaches a peak on the environmental elegy “The Seed.” The album is often uplifting, stemming from a purposeful outlook that makes these songs feel like they’re the soundtrack to life’s turning points.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On her third album, Norwegian singer-songwriter and electronic producer Aurora Aksnes celebrates individual imperfection and the quest to evolve. “We have come here for you,” she chants on the title track, imagining aliens on a mothership retrieving someone too “pure” for this world so they can live in contentment. It’s at once wide-eyed science fiction and a grand metaphor worthy of Kate Bush, and AURORA is particularly good at putting intriguing interpretations into conversation with each other. Raised in the forested countryside on Norway’s west coast, the musician and vocalist creates synthesizer parts that burble, build, and ultimately stand unbowed—opening track “The River” reaches a panoramic sweep as the layered vocal parts intertwine. There are hints of Robyn’s coolly contained judgments and Bjork’s nature-infused grooves, but AURORA’s follow-up to 2018’s Infections of a Different Kind (Step I) has a distinct mix of mood and momentum that reaches a peak on the environmental elegy “The Seed.” The album is often uplifting, stemming from a purposeful outlook that makes these songs feel like they’re the soundtrack to life’s turning points.

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