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Aurora|A Different Kind Of Human – Step 2

A Different Kind Of Human – Step 2

Aurora

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Following 2018's Step 1: Infections of a Different Kind by less than a year, Step 2: A Different Kind of Human finds Norwegian singer/fantasist Aurora Aksnes still investigating humanity through a wide-angle lens. Ecological as well as social themes permeate the record, as does her impulse to reach out to the alienated. These ideas are all represented, either literally or symbolically, on "Dance on the Moon." It stars the distinctively pixie-voiced AURORA as an angel. After opening with spare piano, shimmering background atmosphere, and the singer's dreams for a better future ("I hope love will come to us again"), it evolves into a spacy, soaring dance-pop with tight, layered vocal harmonies and a scat-like countermelody. Like much of the record, it's lush, warm, and welcoming, despite the presence of icy timbres, including frequent vocal processing. This is also true of the encouraging, more reflective "Daydreamer" ("I know I'm just a girl/but can I change lives?....I think I can"). AURORA's albums have been both empathic and fanciful from the beginning, but here, via a rousing melody on shimmering, percussive choruses, she issues a call to action: "We become nighttime dreamers, street walkers, small talkers/When we should be daydreamers, and moon walkers, and dream talkers." A few of the album's darker entries are also urgent; the austere "The Seed" warns "You cannot eat money, oh no," and the heavily stylized "Apple Tree" and "Hunger" incorporate hip-hop and Eastern music influences on cautionary, if rhythmically animated tracks. A Different Kind of Human is most compelling when AURORA's vocal performances are allowed room to breathe, as on the captivating title song. While processed vocal harmonies are among the track's otherworldly sounds, the main vocal line is largely exposed and undistorted, a juxtaposition that becomes more profound alongside lyrics like "We have come here for you/And we're coming in peace....This world you live in is not a place for someone like you/Come on let us take you home." It's an album that sticks, both for its theatrical melodies and uncommon benevolence.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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A Different Kind Of Human – Step 2

Aurora

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1
The River
00:03:37

Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Mark Ralph, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Additional Producer, Synthesizer, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Drums, Recording Engineer, Synth Bass, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Kristian Fanavoll Tvedt, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora Aksnes, Percussion, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Synth Pads - Tom AD Fuller, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ross Fortune, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Odd Martin, Producer, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Odd Martin Bergjord Skålnes, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

2
Animal
00:03:35

Toby GAD, Producer - Tobias Gad, ComposerLyricist - Tim Bran, Producer, Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Kerr, Producer, Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Hervé Le Guil, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Additional Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - David Dahlquist, Producer - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Morgane Mayollet, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marit Aspås, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Ellen Holmås, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Cayotte, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Kill Dave, ComposerLyricist - Karoline Brevik, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Torleif Holm, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

3
Dance On The Moon
00:03:36

Guy Sigsworth, ComposerLyricist - Tim Bran, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Kerr, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Hervé Le Guil, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Additional Keyboards, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, Synth Bass, Computermusic Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Morgane Mayollet, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Cayotte, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

4
Daydreamer
00:03:39

Tim Bran, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Kerr, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Hervé Le Guil, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Peter Wade, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Skylstad, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Morgane Mayollet, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Cayotte, Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

5
Hunger
00:02:46

Aurora, Producer, Recording Engineer, MainArtist, StudioPersonnel - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Fiona Bevan, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Recording Engineer, Synth Bass, Computermusic Noises, Computermusic Percussion, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Percussion, Synthesizer Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

6
Soulless Creatures
00:05:02

Tim Bran, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Kerr, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Hervé Le Guil, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Timothy Bran, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Skylstad, Mixer, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Keyboards, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Morgane Mayollet, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marit Aspås, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Ellen Holmås, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Cayotte, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Karoline Brevik, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Torleif Holm, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

7
In Bottles
00:03:58

Tim Bran, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Kerr, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Hervé Le Guil, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Mixer, Engineer, Additional Producer, Ambient Percussion, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Morgane Mayollet, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Daniel Cayotte, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Oslo fagottkor, Choir

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

8
A Different Kind Of Human
00:04:01

Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Mixer, Additional Keyboards, Additional Producer, Recording Engineer, Synth Bass, Computermusic Noises, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Computermusic Noises, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Percussion, Synth Bass, Synthesizer, Sound Design, Computermusic Noises, AssociatedPerformer - Studentkoret Blandede Akademikere, Choir

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

9
Apple Tree
00:03:08

Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Magnus Skylstad, Producer, Mixer, Drums, Engineer, Percussion, Recording Engineer, Sound Effects, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Aurora Aksnes, Percussion, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Synth Pads - Astrid Birkeland, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Odd Martin, Producer, Drums, Percussion, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Odd Martin Bergjord Skålnes, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

10
The Seed
00:04:26

Michelle Leonard, ComposerLyricist - Tim Bran, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Roy Kerr, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Hervé Le Guil, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Nico Rebscher, ComposerLyricist - Magnus Skylstad, Mixer, Engineer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Drums, Keyboards, Percussion, Programming, Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Keyboards, Co-Producer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer - Morgane Mayollet, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marit Aspås, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Ellen Holmås, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Daniel Cayotte, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Karoline Brevik, Cello, AssociatedPerformer - Torleif Holm, Cello, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

11
Mothership
00:02:16

Aurora, Producer, MainArtist - Robin Schmidt, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Aurora Aksnes, Vocals, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Askjell Solstrand, Producer, Mixer, Sound Design, Sound Effects, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2019 Universal Music Operations Limited

Album Description

Following 2018's Step 1: Infections of a Different Kind by less than a year, Step 2: A Different Kind of Human finds Norwegian singer/fantasist Aurora Aksnes still investigating humanity through a wide-angle lens. Ecological as well as social themes permeate the record, as does her impulse to reach out to the alienated. These ideas are all represented, either literally or symbolically, on "Dance on the Moon." It stars the distinctively pixie-voiced AURORA as an angel. After opening with spare piano, shimmering background atmosphere, and the singer's dreams for a better future ("I hope love will come to us again"), it evolves into a spacy, soaring dance-pop with tight, layered vocal harmonies and a scat-like countermelody. Like much of the record, it's lush, warm, and welcoming, despite the presence of icy timbres, including frequent vocal processing. This is also true of the encouraging, more reflective "Daydreamer" ("I know I'm just a girl/but can I change lives?....I think I can"). AURORA's albums have been both empathic and fanciful from the beginning, but here, via a rousing melody on shimmering, percussive choruses, she issues a call to action: "We become nighttime dreamers, street walkers, small talkers/When we should be daydreamers, and moon walkers, and dream talkers." A few of the album's darker entries are also urgent; the austere "The Seed" warns "You cannot eat money, oh no," and the heavily stylized "Apple Tree" and "Hunger" incorporate hip-hop and Eastern music influences on cautionary, if rhythmically animated tracks. A Different Kind of Human is most compelling when AURORA's vocal performances are allowed room to breathe, as on the captivating title song. While processed vocal harmonies are among the track's otherworldly sounds, the main vocal line is largely exposed and undistorted, a juxtaposition that becomes more profound alongside lyrics like "We have come here for you/And we're coming in peace....This world you live in is not a place for someone like you/Come on let us take you home." It's an album that sticks, both for its theatrical melodies and uncommon benevolence.
© Marcy Donelson /TiVo

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