“It’s an album about grief and loss” - hmv.com talks to AURORA
You might not have heard of 19-year old Aurora Aksnes, but if you watched the TV over Christmas, you’ll have heard her voice. The singer’s cover of Oasis’s whimsical classic ‘Half The World Away’ soundtracked John Lewis’s festive advert and shot up the charts, ending up as high as Number 11.
Now she’s releasing her debut album All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend (you can preview and purchase it on the right-hand side of the page) and we sat down with her to find out all about how the folk-influenced LP came together...
When did you finish work on the album?
“It’s been done for almost a year. I’ve only added one since then, which is ‘Through The Eyes Of A Child’, the others have been there for ages, the album actually feels quite old, which is strange. It’ll be new for the whole world, but not for me.”
Most people will know you from the Oasis track you covered for John Lewis’s Christmas advert, has it been odd watching your fanbase grow while the album has been sat there waiting?
“It was very strange and very hard. I would always want to go back and change things, I can’t go back and listen to anything I’ve done. You need people to tell you when it’s time to move on.”
Who did you work with on the album?
“When I signed with my management I immediately met up with Odd Martin Skålnes and worked with him, we did ‘Awakening’. Then I met Magnus Åserud Skylstad and we worked on ‘Runaway’ together, both those guys are now in my band and we’ve done the album together. We did the album in Bergen, which is my hometown in Norway, it was a lovely process.”
What kind of album is this lyrically?
“It’s an album about grief and loss, about hard times, but knowing that they are natural things and they pass. I wrote some of the songs when I was nine and most of the others when I was 19, so there’s 10 years of Aurora on the album. There’s a real range of emotions on the album, I change everyday and I’ve learned a lot, so that is reflected on there.”
Have you always written in English?
“Some of them, but I’ve always mostly written in English, I was very influenced by Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Kate Bush, they were the artists I liked, so I’ve been writing in English for a long time. It’s a beautiful language, very poetic, writing in Norwegian almost feels too close, I write music that makes me feel very vulnerable as it is, I don’t need to feel any more naked.”
Where did the album title come from?
“It’s been in my head for a long time. Many of my songs are very dark and as I’ve grown up I’ve written more and more about people and my experiences. Not everything is as pretty as it seems, so the title is me, day by day, discovering more and more about the world. We need dark and light in this world. It’s important to be real and not too stuck in dreams.”
Finally, how much live stuff do you have planned?
“I’m booked until December. The whole year is planned, which is quite terrifying really. I’m very excited, I’ve got a wonderful band, they’re my best friends and we’ve got brilliant chemistry. I love playing in England and I hope we come back here and play many more times. I don’t like warm places though, I hope we stick to cold places, but I know we can’t. I can’t wait to play the songs and feel them growing with the audience.”