Wunderkind is an easy word to bandy about for young artists, but it's hard to imagine a better description for Norwegian pop star Aurora's meteoric rise this year. The 20-year-old singer's debut album, All My Demons Greet Me As A Friend, premiered in March and quickly racked up more than 50 million listens on Spotify. (She wrote parts of new single "I Went Too Far" at age nine.) Her cover of David Bowie's "Life on Mars" premiered in March on an episode of Girls, and last week, she appeared at Denmark's massive Roskilde Festival. Aurora's music offers an appealing contrast between pristine synth-pop production and often dark, contemplative lyrics; the lilting lead single "Murder Song (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)" begins with the lyrics "He holds a gun against my head / I close my eyes, and bang, I am dead" before segueing into a catchy, danceable hook.
For her latest single, Aurora has teamed up with Icelandic directors Arni & Kinski to imagine a visual landscape to accompany "I Went Too Far." The duo is best known for collaborating with countrymen Sigur Rós on videos like "Hoppípolla" and "Gobbeldigook," as well as the band's frontman Jónsi's "Go Do," but their credits also include Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars" and Florence & the Machine's "No Light, No Light." The music video for "I Went Too Far," which premieres exclusively on W, below, finds the petite, snowy-haired singer clinging to a ladder suspended over the ocean; the whole thing is moody and textured, pairing perfectly with a song in which Aurora repeatedly cries, "Give me some love and hold me."
It's a song about seeking the love we deserve, Aurora explained: "We shouldn't be crawling on our knees to be recognized, loved, and accepted, because that is no good love," she said. "We have to learn to be kind to ourselves and then demand to be treated kindly."