By Michelle Anne P. Soliman, Reporter
A Different Kind of Human — Step 2
IF DAVID BOWIE and Björk had a child, it would be Norwegian singer Aurora (full name: Aurora Aksnes). The singer’s unique evolving sound and track themes in her new album, A Different Kind of Human — Step 2, illustrate why.
Hailing from Bergen, Norway, Aurora has been writing lyrics since the age of nine. Her debut EP, Running with the Wolves, was released in 2015, followed by her first studio album, All My Demons Treating Me as a Friend, in 2016.
Flamboyantly dressed in color-blocked (sometimes pastel) outfits and sporting a distinct blonde bob cut with long braided strands, the 23-year-old singer showcases more of her icy soprano vocals on her latest album — the second of a two-part album which was released on Spotify on June 7.
Similar to the first album, Infections of A Different Kind — Step 1 (released in September 2018), A Different Kind of Human incorporates eclectic techno sounds with themes ranging from current social issues to navigating into the otherworldly.
The album opens with “The River,” which focuses on overcoming and being open with one’s emotions. The chorus goes: “You can cry, drinking your eyes/ Do you feel the sadness when it’s gone? And you let the river run wild.”
A post on the singer’s official Twitter account on May 10 stated, “Feeling that you can’t talk about your emotions because pain is associated with weakness, here in my world it’s not. Crying can be a happy experience especially afterwards when you feel a bit lighter. That’s what ‘The River’ is about!”
“The Seed” is an environmental anthem about ecological destruction. The song reminds one of sad reality with a message inspired from a Cree Indian proverb: “When the last tree has fallen and rivers are poisoned, you cannot eat money, oh no.”
Among this writer’s favorites is “Hunger” — a catchy tune with a striking message: “All we ever had is hunger. All we never get is power.” Another is the calm and haunting “Soulless Creatures” which, I believe talks about a void between the dead and the living.
The 11-track album also includes movement-enticing tunes with messages of hope such as “Apple Tree” — its chorus goes, “Let her save the world, she is just a girl. Let him save the world, he is just a boy.” Meanwhile, “Daydreamer” speaks of hope and love: “Never turn away from love. Before the love, you have me sober. Nothing can die while we are here.”
The album’s enchanting melodies and lyrics not only entertain but also comfort emotionally.
For example, the album’s title track, “A Different Kind of Human,” arrives at a resolution of being transported to an otherworldly place. The chorus goes: “We have come here for you, and we’re coming in peace. Mothership will take you on higher.”
The singer spoke of the album title in an interview with Records in My Life, a weekly music series on YouTube. Ms. Aksnes said that, “The title is kind of what I hope for the music to do to us… So that’s why the title is what it is. After you have been infected by whatever I want you to be infected by, what happens then?”
The 40-minute record concludes with “Mothership,” where an instrumental of celestial sounds and the faint whisper in the singer’s voice welcomes the listener to a new home.
A Different Kind of Human — Step 2 is available on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and Amazon.