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Aurora (Norway) – Giving in to the Love (single/track from forthcoming album)

I’m late with this one, almost a month. I was watching the 2021 John Lewis TV Christmas advert, the most anticipated one in the UK every year, and recalled the 2015 version which had Aurora covering Oasis’ ‘Half the World Away’ in a tear jerker advert in which a little girl spots an old guy living alone on the Moon in her telescope and sends him a Christmas present by balloon. It didn’t do Aurora’s career any harm.

So I concluded I’d better check up on her; it’s almost two years since I last saw her performing, in Manchester. She will release her fourth album in January 2022, the 15-track ‘The Gods we can touch’ (and which includes, coincidentally, one titled ‘A Little Place called The Moon’ in the vinyl version).

‘Giving in to the Love’ is the third track to be released from it.

Aurora is changing. When she started out she was somewhere between Kylie and Judy Garland, writing powerful, melodic songs often of a fairytale nature (‘Running with the wolves’; ‘Conqueror’) but with a serious undercurrent (‘Murder Song’), backed by top musicians, and carried along on a wave of public enthusiasm for her environmentally-obsessed “all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds” philosophy. It’s of little surprise that she just played a gig in Glasgow at the COP26 event.

But, barely 20 herself, she was prone to treating her audience as children, addressing them as ‘Warriors’ after one of her early songs and lecturing them in lengthy monologues during her live shows; a sort of Lady Gaga Mark 2.

Then she released a new album in two stages and one song alone for me demonstrated how she was maturing from bibbity-bobbity ‘girl’ to ‘young woman’, the impeccable title track ‘Infections of a Different Kind’, which she has described as “the most important song I’ve ever written”. Like it or not she set herself a benchmark for all her future work.

It also references ‘God’ quite often and looking at the track list for the new album (‘The Forbidden Fruits of Eden’,’ Blood in the Wine’, ’The Devil is a Human’) I’m already wondering what influence religion will have on it. Well, they are in the title already.

Aurora has explained in an interview that the song was inspired by the Greek myth of Prometheus sculpting humans from clay and breathing fire into these human sculptures, bringing them to life. The message seems to be that humans overlook their own inner strengths and qualities, preferring instead to settle for outward physical appearance and the perception by others of that appearance and that they should be ‘Giving in to the Love’.  Perhaps she’s been watching too much Made in Chelsea and The Only Way is Essex. The video definitely confirms her interpretation.

Musically, the style here hasn’t deviated much from her earlier work on this track at least, with a strong, catchy melody, solid electronic riffs and anthemic chords, imaginative drum beats and the playful feel that characterised most of her recordings to date. It doesn’t have the gravitas of the aforementioned ‘Infections’ but you couldn’t dance to that and dancing is what she likes to do as anyone who has seen her astonishing gymnastics on stage can testify.

Lyrically however, and I hark back to my earlier comments about her ‘changing’ there is a fascinating opening verse –

“I’m losing my connection/I’m tired of the rules and your corrections/I want to live my life, be all of its pages/and underline that I am not an angel”

 It fits the script of the song perfectly as she insists she wants to be what she is, not what others perceive her to be. But the bit about not being an angel? If you go through any article about Aurora, or search the word ‘angel’ in any set of YouTube comments about her it’s likely that it’s the word you’ll find used most often.

So what is she saying here? Merely reiterating that she is human, with foibles like everyone else, or that we are about to be exposed in his album to another side of her persona not previously experienced? Is she warning her adoring fans of a potentially fatal shock? On balance I’d say the latter outcome is the least likely but we shall see on 21st January. The wait is unbearable.

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