Norway singer 'ruins Christmas' for Oasis fans
Norwegian singer Aurora Aksnes has been accused of “ruining Christmas” by fans of Brit Pop legends Oasis, after recording a slowed-down version of the song Half the World Away for the UK's highest profile Christmas advert.
The 19-year-old singer-songwriter will have made hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Britons week on Friday with her haunting soundtrack for this year’s Christmas tear-jerker from the department store John Lewis, which was released on Friday.
Aksnes is the first non-Briton chosen to sing for John Lewis’s big budget Christmas advert, which has become a Christmas tradition in the years since the store launched it in 2007.
But fans of Oasis, the Manchester band that led the Brit Pop era of the mid-1990s, stormed Twitter to complain about her soft, slowed-down version of the torch song, with one going so far as to accuse her of ruining their favourite song from their favourite band, and thereby ruining Christmas.
“Cheers to that bird singing on the John Lewis advert who’s just ruined my favourite Oasis song and therefore ruined Christmas,” tweeted Matty from Wrexham.
“John Lewis have butchered a classic Oasis song,” said Dan Beasley from London. “They & the Norwegian ‘songstress’ should be sent to the moon as punishment.”
The £1m production features a little girl, Lily, looking through a telescope at a lonely old man who lives in a shack on the moon.
In the end she floats him a present of a telescope tied to helium balloons, which he uses to make eye-contact with her back on earth.
The slogan, “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas”, is designed to gel with the Christmas campaign from Age UK, a charity John Lewis supports, whose slogan is: “No one should have no one at Christmas”.
“The charity really resounds with people at this time of year,” Rachel Swift, head of marketing at John Lewis, told The Guardian, adding that the ad “lends itself to thinking about someone who lives on your street that might not see anybody.”
Since 2009, all of John Lewis’s adverts have featured a slowed-down version of a popular song and all have been produced by the same ad agency duo Adam&Eve/DBB.
Aksnes, who started writing her own songs at the age of just ten, is seen in Norway as the country's next potential global superstar.
"Someone from John Lewis came to a concert of mine in England," she told the country's VG newspaper, and after that we were invited to record this song. And all of a sudden we were in this year's Christmas campaign."
"It's very stately," she said of the song. "although I don't even know myself what it really is."
Oasis fans’ grumbles aside, Friday’s release is almost certain to propel her career further forward.
Two of the last three John Lewis Christmas songs -- Lily Allan’s 2013 cover of the Keane song Somewhere Only We Know and Gabrielle Aplin’s 2012 cover of Frankie goes to Hollywood’s The Power of Love -- reached number one in the charts.
Aksnes tweeted the ad to her 12,000 followers almost as soon as it was released, together with a link to the song on iTunes.
By late on Friday afternoon, the son was already number eight on the iTunes Singles list.