Luna Aura has shed the image of a pop singer with her new single, titled “Crash Dive.”
The frank and unrestrained track was released on streaming services on May 10. It’s a bold new step for the singer-songwriter, born in Phoenix as Angela Flores. Aura, who currently resides in Los Angeles, says she became burnt out writing pop songs, and that one day in the studio, she decided to write a "bratty-ass song."
The result is something that sounds like '90s alternative radio, written from the perspective of someone going over to a lover’s house to fulfill their desires. The track starts out quiet before Aura’s vocals yelp into a visceral crescendo that won’t be ignored.
“The song is about finding my sexuality and owning it,” she says. “I was a free woman but battling with this thing I was conditioned to believe my whole life. I felt like I was a gross person because of it. The song was my way of [saying] ‘fuck you’ to all of that.”
Aura says her sense of repression came from her upbringing in the Mormon church. After the demise of a long and "unhealthy" relationship with religious virtue, she didn't want people telling her who she was going to be. She “experienced her sexuality” for a period of time, but felt ashamed for doing it.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘You don’t feel this way because it’s true. You feel this was because this is what you were told to feel.'"
For Aura, there is a stark difference between genders when it comes to sexuality: Women are seen as “dirty” for embracing sexual behavior, while men are “heartbreakers." These concerns fed into the larger themes of "Crash Dive."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
“There’s that whole ‘lady in the streets, freak in the sheets’ bullshit," she says. "Women are so multidimensional. I see women being proud for who they are, but I think it’s going to take a while to fully get that out of our heads. That isn’t just coming from a religious background. A lot of women feel that way because of what we have been taught to be.”
Aura says that unlike some Mormon families, her parents never sheltered her from music, allowing her to embrace an array of influences. She credits JT Daly, best known for his work on the K. Flay track “Blood in the Cut,” for helping her channel her energy into “Crash Dive.” The two share a mutual appreciation for iconic '90s alternative acts like Hole, Nine Inch Nails, and Garbage. Taking inspiration from them allowed Aura to say what she wanted to say and speak to her truth.
“I feel like I finally found my sound and voice,” she says. “This is a new and improved version of myself. I am very proud of the work I created in the past, but I didn’t know who I was when I was making that music. Now I know who I am.”