FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2016|
Posted by: Mike Montemarano
Norwegian synthpop starlet AURORA's debut album, All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend is an incarnation of elegant and crisp melodies which complement her voice profoundly. While many synthpop musicians set some pretty big limitations on themselves by trying to focus on rhythm-driven music, AURORA's direction is more heavily geared towards creating deeply intense and cathartic melodies that can traverse from minimalistic to complex, all being very smooth and having some impressive baroque influences.
While her songs aren't formulaic, her style hasn't stopped her from incorporating booming and pummeling choruses driven by a cinematic synth string section in songs like "Winter Bird." When she creates beat-driven music, you can bet that the beats will be wild and frenzied in perfect combination with sophisticated and intense melodies on songs like "Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1)." Her lyrics are pensive and forthright, further driving the chilling effect of her brand of otherworldly synth pop which is clever and intellectually driven.
The opening track, "Runaway," drives the baroque angle forward. The synths seem to come in seamlessly more and more throughout the song which begins with a bare, yet intense choral backing. The sounds she composes are both radiant and heavy, with just the right amount of simplicity to create a stark impression as truly present emotion within the music carries her prose-like lyrics forward.
As a singer, AURORA has a great knack for carrying her voice smoothly, never overemphasizing any of her vocal qualities. Her mellow, introspective tone comes from a natural versatility which comes into play most noticeably in songs like "Running With The Wolves" where some deep layering creates powerful and dynamic harmonies that fit the intensity of her compositions. She has a childlike tinge to her voice that adds an element of innocence and prettiness to every song.
Rather than focusing her energy and versatility in one mood, AURORA spares listeners every now and then from the celestial doom and gloom she does so well by brightening things up in intuitive ways with songs like "Warrior" and "Half A World Away." One of the best qualities of the album is undoubtedly the way the characters that drive her songs are bound in countless emotional directions throughout.
She can go from brooding and mourning to battle cries (see "Wisdom Cries") all within one track in a way that few pop musicians can muster. There's an overarching kind of journey going through the action-packed All My Demons Are Greeting Me As A Friend, which shows some huge promise and further potential for AURORA in her emergence as a cinematic and compelling songwriter. Her focus on creating untamed and ruthless melodies is sure to distinguish AURORA in all the work she does.