Album of the Week: AURORA – A Different Kind Of Human (Step II) (2019 LP)

Enigmatic, ethereal and endearing AURORA, has at last released the response to her call, A Different Kind Of Human (Step II), following up her 2018 release Infections of a Different Kind (Step I).

Like many artists of this moment, more and more performers are turning their lyrical focus towards ecological themes, and cries to save the Earth. Aurora’s latest album visits this, as well as the idiosyncrasies of us all being different kinds of humans.

Step II is like an ascent on the mountain. The drums here are loud footfalls, the bass a distant avalanche that refuses to wait. Aurora’s voice echoes deep and loud, a near-desperate cry into the expanse of this world she has sonically and lyrically created. Triggering memories of deep beats such as Fever Ray, or light but complex melodies and lyrics of Björk and Tune-Yards, her album is both cosmic, of another plane, and intrinsically and mortally human.

But to get to the mountain we have to begin at the base, which is where Aurora’s album opens with the first track, “The River”. Her vocals, are light but hardly vapid. “Animal”, delves into all the elements of a beautiful love song with the visceral lyrics of a violent scene. Released earlier this year with an accompanying music video, it is sure to be one of the stand out tracks from the album.

“Hunger” is both delicious and energetic, showing a more sophisticated layering of her vocals. The titular track, “A Different Kind Of Human” is deep and soft. Leaning into her otherworldly presence, the song talks of taking humans who don’t belong elsewhere. “This world you’re living is not a place for someone like you” is a direct call out to all the gentle souls struggling on this planet.

“The Seed”, another earlier release depends on aching violins to realise the pain behind the words before picking up into a war cry. The phrase “You cannot eat money, oh no” is not an original lyric by any means. It comes from the full quote, “When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realise, too late, that wealth is not in bank accounts and that you can’t eat money,” as originally spoken by Canadian filmmaker of Abenaki descent, Alanis Obomsawin.

The song, and this album, are deeply connected to the many lives of this planet suffering at the hands of our own destruction just as a seed’s roots are connected to the many trees.

FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

AURORA’s new album, A Different Kind of Human (Step II), will be officially released Friday June 7th through Glassnote Records / AWAL. Pre-order your copy HERE

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