AURORA’s The Gods We Can Touch is a divine gallery of art worthy of becoming lost within



The album cover for AURORA’s third studio album, The Gods We Can Touch

Sunlight streaks through the glass panels of the vaulted ceilings high above me, melting into pearly puddles across the marble floors. Ivory pillars ornament the space, and gossamer curtains gently flutter in the warm spring breeze, carrying the scent of lilac and lily in through the open windows. 

The gallery surrounds me, art in every medium and every hue, paintings mounted on the walls, statues imposing upon the floor. Enveloped completely, I am one with the space, the art, the entire image that AURORA’s newest album, The Gods We Can Touch, paints into existence around me as it floats through my phone’s speakers. 

Released on Jan. 21, The Gods We Can Touch performs best in complete cohesion, but each song is still a distinctly defined piece of art within itself—from oil paintings to watercolors, from portraits to landscapes. 

It is femininity; it is desperation; it is power; it is divinity. The Gods We Can Touch exists in a realm outside of reality—an ethereal gallery that exists apart from space and time, free-floating, light as a feather, light as a fairy. 

I trail through the gallery, seeking peace, beauty, raw magnetism.

“A Dangerous Thing” calls to me first, its edges gently lilting in the darkest and warmest of shades, like the dappled hues of soft brown irises, a twinkle in the eye inviting me in, mystery abounding. But at the core lies fire, broad leaves in gold and red igniting the tree, an assortment of elements forming a rainbow of flame. 

While I was hesitant at the opening notes, “A Dangerous Thing” wins me over at the steep drop off of the chorus, cascading like a waterfall into a choral blend of voices, carrying me along with it through every alcove of the gallery.

Whereas “A Dangerous Thing” mellowed to frame the burst of life at its center, “The Innocent” is exactly what it claims to be from the beginning. The staircase of piano keys toppling over each other plays across the stage where a lone spotlight illuminates an impassioned dancer. 

Her movements are precise, in line with the sharp rise and fall of the song. She is the master of the spotlight, master of the stage, master of the ritual she performs with shameless authority, captivating the attention of her audience.

Enthralled by the dance, I cross the gallery to a waltz rendered in black and white: “Exist for Love.” There is a simplicity to this piece, an undying, untainted love like that of old-timey romances that play across the staticky screen of a vintage television. 

With nothing to combat the clarity of her voice, AURORA’s lyrics take center stage, and they are infectiously sappy—“And every single time I run into your arms/I feel like I exist for love”—taking hold of my hopelessly romantic heart.

Gentle and rippling as a brook, “Everything Matters” is but a few steps away, and in laudable stanzas of poetry it epitomizes the palette of pastels that render The Gods We Touch weightless and whimsical. The gossamer notes of AURORA’s voice float skyward, brushing the rosy edges of the clouds and painting the world into morning.

In striking juxtaposition, “Temporary High” is rich and round whereas “Everything Matters” is gauzy and dreamy, vivid tinctures compared against a muted rainbow. 

The painting revolves around the chorus, a figure running with sacred purpose towards love itself, set against the dusky watercolors of a sunset along the shoreline, the gravity of the chorus’ orbit so strong it pulls my heart into the rhythm, into the footprints in the sand.

All bursting, brilliant bubbles, the tempo of “Temporary High” builds and builds until it crescendos and spills over itself into the methodical dependability of quickening footsteps. The song itself races and runs, one step, one sound bleeding into the next, attempting to bridge an insurmountable distance and give context to wounds left by fleeting carelessness. 

I follow the footsteps of “Temporary High” across the marbled floor and into the artery of the beating heart that sustains the unadulterated power of “Giving In To The Love.” There’s a raw sense of humanity, of mortality, that feeds the wild confidence this song gently radiates. 

It’s bold reds dancing around each other, weaving the anatomy of the corporeal, the tangible, punctuated by thin ribbons of pink, giving dimension and complexity to every pronounced sound that builds this candid model of fearlessness and imperfect acceptance. 

My fingers reach out to greet this work of art, to take some of the humanity it offers, to feel imperfection within my own soul and my own heart, to take possession of myself with the same euphony that AURORA does. 

Buzzed on power, craving more, “Blood In The Wine” consumes every bit of emptiness within me, offers me a sip of saccharine intensity that stains my lips. 

A castle unfolds itself in turrets and battlements and parapets and glistening domes. The first verse opens the doors to me, guides me regally down ornamented, golden hallways, and at the chorus, an ornate throne room towers around me, lavishly carpeted, pristine, a consecrated space fabricated by AURORA’s voice commanding a regal procession.

Abandoning the grandeur of “Blood In The Wine,” I wander over to a neon menagerie of color and geometry: “Cure For Me.”

Round and bubbly in its whimsy, “Cure For Me” extends open palms to me, the messy hands of a painter. Disco lights throw themselves at me, patterning themselves between the dance-y beats of the chorus. 

The shapes seem to stretch from the canvas, yearning towards me as I yearn to step into the painting, let it infuse itself into me so that I can move in tandem with every beat as it bounces across the polychromatic sound waves

Around the corner, trailing along the rippling sound waves, I bask in the pale, yellow glow of a portrait of feminine divinity: “Heathens.”

Ethereal and glowing, cast in buttery rays of sunlight and silvery strands of moonlight, the diaphanous threads of AURORA’s voice dance around the light-speckled branches of a tree, its spindly fingers reaching far into the swirling starscape of the heavens. 

I stand at the feet of a divine goddess reaching distantly compassionate arms toward me, skin shimmering like the wings of a dragonfly, swaths of silk draping from her arms, drifting over her nimble fingers. 

As the crystalline notes fade to nothing, the gallery still stands unperturbed by the black ink of sensibility, the artwork ribboning and punctuating the blank walls, floral memories from the garden carrying summer on their petals, sunlight twinkling like braids of diamond in the wind. 

Even after I have finished wandering the marble floors of The Gods We Touch, I pause in the iridescent atmosphere, shimmering like a heat mirage, unwilling to let go of the lacy fabrics of AURORA’s voice or the free-flowing poetry of her lyrics.