Album Review: AURORA - 'The Gods We Can Touch'

21 January 2022 | 2:01 pm | Georgia Griffiths

"A seasoned artist in her prime."

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Norwegian pop/folk star AURORA has returned with her third album, The Gods We Can Touch

Releasing music for nearly ten years now, she has always been a captivating artist; her live performances are known for being high energy and spontaneous, and her interviews are unpredictable yet charming. This energy shines through on The Gods We Can Touch. 

Centred around Greek mythology, it’s by far some of her most polished work to date. There are twists and turns as AURORA melds styles and creates sonic landscapes that reach the heights of the gods she sings of. 

The album begins with an instrumental, before launching into Everything Matters, which features French artist Pomme in a spoken-word outro. Starting hypnotically slow, this track sets the bar high. AURORA has always been a fantastic storyteller; Everything Matters sees her chronicling “the small miracles” in such an emotive way that you can’t help but agree with the track’s title. 

The beauty of The Gods We Can Touch is that it doesn’t feel like a concept album. While only one track explicitly references a mythological god (Artemis), repeat listens reveal that many of them are present. It’s not overbearing and there are no gimmicks - just masterful production paired with AURORA’s stunning voice.

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Competing in a very strong field, the most enjoyable tracks on the album come in various forms. Exist For Love, a wandering ballad, uses strings to its advantage, while A Temporary High sees more electronic aspects create a sense of urgency. Genre is fluid on The Gods We Can Touch: folk and pop take precedence, but in between there’s everything from spaghetti Western elements on Heathens to synth-driven electronic beats on Cure For Me. Listeners are flung between upbeat tracks with a dark undertone to soaring, vocal-driven interludes that border on hymnal. AURORA is a shapeshifter, never quite giving away her influences. One moment she’s channelling Lana Del Rey, the next it’s Santigold.

It’s rare that an artist can traverse such vast soundscapes and keep an album within a neat package, but AURORA gets incredibly close. The Gods We Can Touch presents a seasoned artist in her prime, with an already illustrious career behind her but surely a lot more to come.