Single Review: AURORA – Queendom

2018 has seen Norwegian singer-songwriter AURORA blast back onto the music scene with single “Queendom” this year, the first track to be released from the exciting and evocative album Infections of a Different Kind. Signifying a thematic breakaway from her previous albums – all of which predominantly examined emotions and relationships – the artist uses her latest sequence to advocate a cause close to her heart: feminism. Luckily for its listeners, the content of the album is as bold and provocative as its title.

Whilst she explores different thematic avenues in this album, however, the artist does not stray away from the alt-pop genre merging that catalysed her rise to fame upon her first studio release. Like its predecessors, “Queendom” carries a clean electronica sounds throughout, thanks to the tight union of synths and drums on which it is built.

Exuberant melodies and myriad vocals abound in verse and chorus alike to inject the piece with a sense of pounding energy, allowing only brief gaps for echoes of AURORA’s voice to squeeze through.

Invoking the ethereal charm for which she is widely renowned, the artist climbs through varying series of heavenly notes before she dives into each chorus, illustrating the power of her voice in the process. Throughout the piece, she displays thrilling unpredictability in her vocals – at some points, she projects soft, almost waif-like singing skills; at others, a preacher-esque voice, particularly in her screamed proclamation of ‘Til Queendom come’.

Returning to its thematic layout – arguably its most striking feature – a clear celebration of minority groups is at its beating core. Although previous single releases brimmed with sentiment and longing, such as “I Went Too Far”, the artist’s most recent release roars with empowerment and liberation, apostrophising female listeners as ‘soldiers’ and silenced women as her ‘choir’.

She reinforces her choice of nouns, unsurprisingly, with persistent tribal-esque drumming, evidently making sure that the musical backdrop galvanises, instead of overpowering, listeners. This in turn creates a powerful auditory effect: it feels as if AURORA is inviting those listening to participate in an important ritual; as if she is joyously calling anyone who has ever felt rejected to freely enter her all-inclusive Queendom.

Madeleine Farnhill

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