LIVE: Aurora – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London 13.10.16

To the warmly lit backdrop of a whimsical forest, the young and almost pixie like Aurora joins the stage with her band. Her musical style is personified in her appearance; flowing, poignant, soft, but packing a punch. A bit Florence Welch meets Sia.

The first few tracks are all similar in style. Slow acoustic openings, stirring crescendo, stunning vocal acrobatics, and ending as they begun with a wind down into a somber climax. Surprisingly rather than repetitive, it feels like perfecting a skill. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

The crowd are a clearly loyal ensemble and are respectful of the artist’s use of silence and build up. At certain times it’s only the rustle of the bar’s ice buckets that can be heard over the bated breath. But each track is given thunderous applause every time.

A few songs in, Aurora finally addresses the crowd with her timid, vulnerable voice; a stark difference from the extraordinary precision and range in her singing. She jokes about only ever being nervous when in a taxi because, “you’re just with a stranger and you have to talk to them” and that the venue is “just a very big taxi”. And while appearing nervous between tracks addressing the crowd, as she sings the nerves seemingly melt away and she sings with the confidence of a performer twice or three times her 20 years.

The track ‘Animal Soul’ stands out from the crowd with the perfect use of male backing vocals and just a single acoustic guitar. It encompasses Aurora’s style of focusing on the lyrics and vocals of a song. Other highlights of the night include ‘Murder Song’, ‘Black Water Lillies’, and ‘Warrior’.

As the music industry continues to be fruitful for artists like First Aid Kit and Birdy, there’s definitely a place for Aurora on the scene. Her beautiful lyrics and avant garde performing makes her one to watch out for, and her charming personality is the diamond upon the crown.

Ashley Powys