You know, it’s the second time in just as many weeks that we’ve had an overly long album title that feels like it should perhaps belong in a teenager’s diary. Of course, The 1975 took their pretentiousness to new levels on their album, but young Aurora is actually still a teenager, and All My Demons Greeting Me As A Friend reveals a surprising amount of depth from someone so early in their career.
For the purposes of this record, it’s probably wise to forget any association the Norwegian star had with John Lewis – it goes without saying that a large company overlooked what makes Aurora special just to shoehorn some schmaltz. Take opening track Runaway, for example. It’s hard to think of someone who can blend melody with simple but effective production, delivering an aching yearn in a pop milieu.
Pop is the key word here, and admittedly there’s nothing beyond the commercial here. Still, Aurora balances her angst quite well with rousing bangers like Conqueror, Running With The Wolves, and Murder Song (5,4,3,2,1), all examples of pitch-perfect writing to match the talents of its presenter. There is a tendency for her to delve a little bit too downtempo at times, but songs like Winter Bird and Through The Eyes of A Child are so expertly crafted that it’s hard not to fall in love with her.
In a landscape full of precocious pop brats, it’s utterly endearing to have someone like Aurora tracing her sound with such sincerity. Sure, there’s the odd foray into mawkish territory – mainly looking at Lucky here but hey, we were all teenagers once – however there’s so much to adore in this debut that, like her namesake celestial phenomenon, there’s no doubt she’ll shine a unique shade of bright.