Aurora Aksnes (born June 15, 1996), also stylized as AURORA, is an indie pop singer-songwriter from Norway. Her style is an eclectic blend of Baroque Pop and Electronic Music, with soaring melody lines and introspective lyrics sung in her distinctive crystal-clear soprano voice.
Aurora describes her first experience with music as finding an old electric piano in the attic. She could only play with one hand because she had to keep pressing the on button, but she was awed by what she could create. She performed one of her first songs, "I Had A Dream", at her graduation ceremony. A friend of hers uploaded a video of it without her consent, attracting the attention of Made Management. Initially, she was upset, but her mother encouraged her to share her music with others.
In December 2012, Aurora released her first track "Puppet", followed by "Awakening" in 2013. Soon after, she was signed onto Decca Records/Glassnote, and released the singles "Under Stars", "Runaway", "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" and "Running With The Wolves". Her debut EP "Running With The Wolves" was released in 2015, and was generally well received. Another single, "Conqueror" was released in January 2016. Her debut album, "All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend" was released on March 11, 2016, and rose to the #1 spot in Norway. She promoted it with the single "I Went Too Far".
After working on new music in between shows, she decided to release her second album in two parts. The first, "Infections of a Different Kind", came out in late 2018, while the second, titled "A Different Kind of Human", was released in 2019.
Also in 2019, Aurora had her first international mainstream success singing in Frozen II, providing the mysterious wordless voice from the forest that vocalizes opposite Idina Menzel in "Into The Unknown." She performed the song on stage (well, in an elevated box) at the Academy Awards Ceremonies that year.
Aurora's fourth studio album "The Gods We Can Touch" was released in January 2022, featuring guest vocals by Pomme.
Not to be confused with an actual Aurora Borealis/Australis.
- Under Stars
- Running With the Wolves EP (2015)
- All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend (2016)
- Infections Of A Different Kind — Step 1 (2018)
- A Different Kind Of Human — Step 2 (2019)
- Into The Unknown from Frozen II alongside Idina Menzel
- The Gods We Can Touch (2022)
- A Child Shall Lead Them: Every member of her band is significantly older than her.
- Aerith and Bob: Odd Martin seems like the odd one out among band members with names like Alf and Magnus.
- Album Closure: A Different Kind of Human ends with "Mothership," a short, slow song with few lyrics that wraps up the album's themes of belonging and deconstructed Alien Abduction.
- Animal Motifs: Her love for moths is a recurring theme.
- Ascended Fangirl: Averted. While Katy Perry is one of her fans, Aurora does not return the favor. When asked if Katy was her idol, she replied, "Erm nei."
- Awesome McCoolname: Her name means "dawn" or "sunrise" in Latin, and it also indicates the phenomenon known as polar lights. Quite appropriate for someone hailing from Norway.
- Badass Longcoat: Has quite a few of these.
- Book Ends: She has said that "Lucky" is a sort of this to "Runaway", being that "Runaway" mentions "climbing my way in a tree" and seeing a piece of heaven "waiting impatient for me", and "Lucky" mentions being "lucky to be alive". When asked if this refers to a near-death encounter in her past, she replied "It can be interpreted many different ways."
- Baroque Pop: A big component of Aurora's musical style, even more noticeable when she has performed to the accompaniment of live orchestras and choirs.
- Braids of Barbarism: She sports a form of this. A fan asked if she had a sidecut or an undercut, and she replied: "All of Them! Haha!"
- Buffy Speak: She is quite prone to this. During her concert on the Honda Stage, before playing "I Went Too Far" live, she said:Aurora: Thank you for the nice energy. And from now on, this show will be a bit less sad, won't it? Because we are we have almost done all the sad songs. Even though all of my songs are kind of sad but many of them are hidden, inside a nice *Beat* bag of somethings that isn't so sad
- Character Tic: Her oddly endearing compulsion to wave her hands around while speaking and singing. Even she doesn't know why she does it.
- Child Prodigy: Began playing the piano and composing music at age 6, and writing lyrics at age 9. She can also play the drums and the guitar.
- Classical Mythology: Each of the songs in The Gods We Can Touch is themed after one of the gods or goddesses from the Greco-Roman pantheon.
- Companion Cube: "Manchesto", a red balloon who fell from a roof in Manchester, was this trope. She drew a face on it and carried it around. But airport security elsewhere in Europe wouldn't allow him aboard, so she had to leave him behind. But recently, Aurora acquired a wind-dancer, whose name is yet unknown.
- Cover Version: "Nature Boy" by Nat King Cole, and "Half The World Away" by Oasis. Other covers include, in no particular order:
- Driven to Suicide: The protagonist of "Awakening". Whether she succeeds or fails is left ambiguous.
- Due to the Dead: "Little Boy In The Grass" is this not only for the victims of the 2011 Utoya Massacre, but also for a certain someone who died that day.
- Early-Bird Cameo: For Stephen Colbert. Aurora has a gif of a man slowly building up a smile, which she uses some mornings to cheer herself up. Then, before performing on The Late Show, she discovers that the man in the gif is Stephen Colbert. After the performance, she was able to do her own slow smile alongside him.
- Five-Man Band:
- Genki Girl: When she performs on stage. Just look at her moves!
- Genre Mashup: Her music combines Dark Pop, Art Pop, Dream Pop, and Norwegian Folk Music.
- Grief Song: "Under Stars" and "Little Boy In The Grass".
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Downplayed. Her hair has become significantly less gold in recent years.
- Hero of Another Story: Some of the band members are full-fledged musicians in their own right.
- Hidden Depths: Aurora is actually the one who decides how the lights are configured before a concert. However, most people think one of the male members of her group handles that. Which makes her a bit sad.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Aurora is quite short compared to the other members of the band.
- International Pop Song English: Averted. Aurora's English vocals have a noticeable Norwegian accent that contributes to her unique sound.
- Intentionally Awkward Title: "All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend". Even abbreviated, it's still awkward. She said, "I like the idea of people having to say ALL those words, EVERY time they go to talk about my album."
- Kid Hero: Started her career at age 16.
- Lighter and Softer: "Conqueror", compared to the others.
- "Queendom" is uplifting and hopeful, without a single trace of gloom.
- "Cure For Me", a joyful song talking about how even though the world tells so many of us that there are things about us that aren't "correct" (whether appearance, sexual identity, lifestyle choices, health issues, etc) and that society frequently tries to "cure" everyone, Aurora rejects this "cure", saying that there's nothing wrong with her, or any of us.
- Long Title: All her albums.
- Mercy Kill: "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" is about one of these, at least according to the narrator/killer.
- Mistaken Age: Played straight in an odd manner. When she was in her early teens, she appeared to be more of a late teenager. Now she's 20, but looks like a teenager. "Quite strange" indeed.
- The Mourning After: Part of "Winter Bird" seems to reference this.
- Mouthful of Pi: During an interview, she mentioned how much she used to want to pee before a performance because she would get so nervous. She stated that she would recite digits of Pi to keep calm, but now that she's more used to performing, she doesn't Pi anymore. When asked about it in a recent interview, she said that she once had it up to 200 digits.
- Murder Ballad: "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)".
- Nature Lover: She grew up in Os, outside of Bergen, Norway. And she loves forests, animals, and insects.
- Non-Appearing Title: Played straight with "Awakening". Subverted with "Runaway" and "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)".
- Not so Above It All: Aurora once posted a picture of her showing the shaved part of her head. Which had been that way for years, but was usually covered up by hair. One commenter asked, "Going lesbian?" She replied, "Wow. Just. Wow."
- Ode to Youth: One way to interpret "Through The Eyes Of A Child".
- Polyglot: She's a Norwegian who is fluent in English. She is also currently learning to speak German, French, and Vietnamese.
- Porky Pig Pronunciation: She stutters quite a lot.
- Precision F-Strike: She says that she sometimes says "the s-h-i-t" when she forgets lyrics.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Her songs are inspired by the experiences of others, as well as her own. More specifically, "Running With The Wolves" was partly inspired by the 2015 Blood Moon.
- Refrain from Assuming: It's not "Give Me Some Love", it's "I Went Too Far".
- Refusal of the Call: She never wanted to become famous, so she was very upset when her friend uploaded a video of her graduation performance. But her mother told her how the music helped her feel, and that it would be selfish to withhold it. The rest is history.
- Rousing Speech: "Warrior" is this for her Warriors, urging them to fight on despite the darkness around them.
- Self-Deprecation: During a break in one of her concerts, she said, " I talk about pee way too much. That's why I'm single."
- Serial Killer: If interpreted literally, "In Boxes" is about one of these.
- The Something Song: "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)".
- Teen Genius: Among other things, she is allegedly capable of reciting many digits of Pi.
- Textless Album Cover: This trope becomes handy given her love for Long Titles.
- Title Track: Played straight with "Running With The Wolves". Averted with "All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend". She does have a song titled "All My Demons", but it is not on the album, nor has it been released.
- Verbal Tic: She is quite fond of the word "elsewise", and the phrases "quite strange" and "which is nice". Lampshaded by her fans.