Saturday, November 07, 2015

New Music 2015 - Part 78 - Aurora Aksnes - Running With The Wolves EP

This seems to have been one of the biggest 'stories' in a whole slew of UK newspapers for a couple of days. Yes, I am going to comment on it.
Whatever you think about pre-Christmas hubbub or the much-commented-upon John Lewis Christmas TV advertisement that isn't an issue for me. John Lewis Partnership, a UK chain of department stores, has a history of choosing an artist to cover a well known hit song as a sound-line to their annual campaign. The song and the artist chosen are often surprising juxtapositions. In 2012 it was Gabrielle Aplin covering Frankie Goes To Hollywood and the track 'The Power Of Love'.

That the press seems to think that the singer Aurora Aksnes, chosen to cover Oasis' 'Half The World Away' on it, is unknown is quite the issue for me. Where have all you supposed music sleuths been?

She released the 'Running With The Wolves EP' in May this year (Decca, Universal Music Group --- so hardly an underground release) and she certainly hasn't spent the time since then hiding in a cave somewhere in her native Norway.

Aurora, Walled Garden Stage, Green Man Festival, Sunday 23 August 2015.

I guess you just had to be there to realise that something beyond the usual was going on. Always keep your eyes and ears open, and not just for the music alone...
Don't worry about Oasis (they'll love hating the cover and blaming each other all over again), or indeed this saccharine version designed to serve a single purpose. I don't blame Aurora
for taking this opportunity to gain exposure without having to allow any of her own music to be compromised by its use in the advertisement.
Her brand of Scandinavian electro-pop might have been a bit too dark for the target market anyway...  This is the title track.

Unless that is you fancy spending Christmas dancing in a deserted quarry backed by a mysterious metropolis.

The four-track EP is far better than the song covered. Aurora's d├ębut LP is due for release in early Spring 2016.

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