Aurora Newcomb is an emerging singer-songwriter who found her passion for music amid the chaos and pain of the Covid-19 pandemic. She has released two singles, including the recent track, "Far From Fiction," and while she may only be 15 years old, when it comes to performing for others, she's an old pro.
“I started doing ballet when I was 2,” says Newcomb. “That was my first introduction to the stage, and I think I had my first real performance when I was around 4. And since I was a really shy kid, my parents later put me in a theater program called Drama Kids International. I ended up really loving acting and theater, so I ended up going to an arts middle school and now I go to Booker High School and participate in the Visual and Performing Arts program.”
Newcomb’s extensive résumé includes credits in 42nd Street, West Side Story and Anything Goes. The closure of Broadway at the beginning of the pandemic led her to blossom into a musical artist.
“It was March 12, 2020—the day Broadway shut down,” says Newcomb. “I was in New York City with my eighth-grade theater class. I wanted to write a musical, so I asked my music teacher if she could teach me all of music theory in one day. She, of course, was like, ‘No. That's crazy. You can't learn all of music theory in a day.’ And then, like two hours after that, Broadway shut down and we all had to go home.”
Upon returning to Sarasota, the teen singer was determined to write a musical, a goal that included teaching herself to play the piano.
“I sat down at the piano and started trying to put my words to little melodies," says Newcomb. "It kind of just blossomed from there. I wrote a full musical and afterward I realized that I enjoyed songwriting more than making a show. So I just started writing more songs.”
So far, Newcomb has written around 130 songs, 85 of which she says she would feel confident enough to release. She describes her sound as “magical folk-punk,” three words that sum up the airiness of her acoustic guitar and the 1980s-style garage band tones of each song.
“Far From Fiction,” Newcomb's second single, after "Book of Tragedy," was released last month. The concept developed from comments her family made about her music.
“My parents and other people were talking about how all my songs are fictional,” says Newcomb. “And I was like, ‘Well, yeah, some are fictional. But they're real, too.’ So I started thinking about how my songs aren’t just fictional. They're far from fiction. And I thought that was nice—the alliteration. So I wrote that down in my phone and went back to it a few weeks later.”
The original concept later developed into a broader project. “I was thinking about how relationships and personal experiences can be so far from a fairy tale,” says Newcomb. “They can be just no good at all or they don’t play out in the storybook ending that you wanted."
Newcomb name-checks artists like Taylor Swift, Lucy Dacus and Lana Del Rey as inspirations. She plans to release an EP compiling her singles soon, and, after that, an album.
"I love the way albums are arranged from top to bottom," says Newcomb. "I want to release one with all the songs that are important to me and make my mark on the world.”