AURORA, the Norwegian Art Pop bicon sensation, released her third studio album, “The Gods We Can Touch”, on January 21, 2022.
The first single, Exist for Love, was released over a year and a half ago, back in May 2020. It is one of the record’s more sonically simple tracks, yet is still beautifully layered. It consists of rhythmic, folk-inspired acoustic picking, and breathy string swells behind AURORA’s romantic, lovelorn serenading.
The rest of the album was well worth the wait. “The Gods We Can Touch” is certainly her most experimental, ambitious album to date. It manages to achieve a curious jazziness in instances as well as orchestral waves that sway the listener along with her, while also incorporating chamber pop and electronic influences and sensibilities. Although the album is explorative, and at times even whimsical, it never fails to feel like a cohesive album showing her at her most emotionally authentic and heartfelt from the well-balanced ballads to the fun bops.
(Illustration by: Ana Felix)
Atmospheric, expansive soundscapes with slow buildups and cathartic payoffs make for a truly moving listening experience, but the lyrics provide a whole other layer of craftsmanship. Largely inspired by her love of Greek Mythology, the songs explore deeply human concepts and emotions, making the mythical and mystical tangible and experiential. Explaining this in an interview with When The Horn Blows, she stated, “The Greeks had gods and goddesses for everything, for anxiety, for wine, for sex… Long ago when this concept of gods and goddesses started they were more human, more relatable, and almost touchable. Most importantly, they had flaws.” Themes explored include unrequited love, abuse, empowerment, and even conversion therapy in Cure For Me.
Overall, “The Gods We Can Touch” is a Noir masterpiece perfect for escapist seasonal depression ruminations.