WORTHIE's Weekly Live Performance Spotlight: AURORA at KEXP

Aurora Aksnes is from Norway, and that fact alone gives her +100 intrigue in my book. I discovered her first album on Spotify last fall during a particularly dull and dreary week at school. As soon as I clicked “play”, sublime vocals transported me to another plane. Somewhere not too far off from the old haunts of my frequently vivid dreams.

A veritable star in Europe, AURORA is quickly gaining traction across the pond. Seattle-based radio station KEXP hosted her and her band live at the Kex Hostel in Reykjavik in January, where she sampled some of her second album’s most popular tracks. You can check out the full performance below.

Timestamps:

00:59 - Churchyard

05:02 - Gentle Earthquake

08:50 - All Is Soft Inside

15:13 - Runaway

19:40 - Forgotten Love

24:10 - Queendom

In a time where coldly artificial synths and distorted vocals dominate the top 100 charts, AURORA’s primeval sound feels like being dropped in a pool of ice water. It’s a shock the system didn’t know it needed. Take one of my all-time favorites, Churchyard - where else can you get Gregorian-esque polyphony and warrior-like chants in a song made for the charts?

Don’t get me wrong - AURORA and her band know how to incorporate pop-sounds into their tracks, albeit in new and inventive ways. But it never feels forced, or used for popularity’s sake. This is a new sound, and I can’t wait to see where it’s headed.