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AUSTRA

Austra

HiRUDiN

    Being in a toxic relationship can sometimes feel like being lost in a maze. Every attempt to turn a corner lands you back where you started. Austra aka Katie Austra Stelmanis’ fourth album, HiRUDiN is both a bold acknowledgement of such patterns of behaviour and a testament to the power of breaking them.

    Katie Austra Stelmanis has been better known by her middle name for three albums, ten years, and countless tours. She wrote, produced, and performed all her own records, occasionally sharing the spotlight with a band to tour live. From the outside, things were going really well for a while: she built a devoted fan base and sold out shows all around the world. However, on the inside, Stelmanis was beginning to feel stagnant and uninspired. “I was losing faith in my own ideas,” she explains. Without realising it, she’d got caught up in a toxic relationship that was tearing her apart.

    It wasn’t until Stelmanis was ready to face her insecurities that she was able to see a way forward: “My creative and personal relationships were heavily intertwined, and I knew the only answer was to part ways with all of the people and comforts that I’d known for the better part of a decade and start again.” Alongside making changes in her personal life, HiRUDiN saw Austra taking an entirely different, free-spirited approach to making a record. Seeking out all new collaborators, she booked three days of sessions in Toronto with improv musicians she’d never met before. They included two thirds of contemporary classical improv group c_RL, the cellist and kamanche duo Kamancello, kulintang ensemble Pantayo, and a children’s choir.

    Accumulating a vast and vibrant mass of source material, Austra then holed up in a studio in the Spanish countryside and took a collage approach to sampling, arranging, writing and producing to reveal the songs that would form the album.

    HiRUDiN traces a deeply personal journey towards regeneration, dealing with the fallout of toxic relationships, queer shame, and insecurity along the way.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Anywayz
    2. All I Wanted
    3. How Did You Know?
    4. Your Family
    5. Risk It
    6. Interlude I
    7. It’s Amazing
    8. Mountain Baby Feat. Cecile Believe
    9. I Am Not Waiting
    10. Interlude Ii
    11. Messiah

    Austra

    Future Politics

      Proceeding ‘Feel It’ (2011) and ‘Olympia’ (2013), ‘Future Politics’ is the third studio album from Canadian electronic pop outfit Austra, fronted by Katie Stelmanis.

      The album was written, produced, and engineered by Stelmanis with mixing by Alice Wilder at Transmitter Park Studio in New York and Union Sound Company in Toronto.

      The project concerns the concept of projecting innovation and creativity through individualism and the injustice of an, at times, closed minded or stunted world. A matured message, ‘Future Politics; is for fans of iconic sounds resonating from The Knife, Fever Ray and Bjork to Grimes and Anohni.

      Their most visually compelling record to date, ‘Future Politics’ sees transcendent, modernist artwork shot at Luis Barragán’s famed Cuadra San Cristóbal in Mexico City.

      TRACK LISTING

      We Were Alive
      Future Politics
      Utopia
      I’m A Monster
      I Love You More Than
      You Love Yourself
      Angel In Your Eye
      Freepower
      Gaia
      Beyond A Mortal
      Deep Thought
      43

      Austra

      Olympia

        ‘Olympia’ is an album of transformation. Though it has only been two years since Austra’s 2010 debut ‘Feel It Break’, it presents a quantum evolution in the Toronto-based band’s sound, structure and style.

        After three years of non-stop international touring with the likes of The xx, Grimes and The Gossip, when it came time to record ‘Olympia’, Austra had evolved into a complex collaborative effort between its six members.

        Although ‘Olympia’ is filled with electronic and synthetic sounds that reference everything from Trax Records classic cuts to Yazoo’s ‘Upstairs At Eric’s’, it’s free of programming and loops. Everything was played live by the band in the studio and all of the percussion - including a wild set up of marimbas and congas - was performed by drummer Maya Postepski.

        The album was produced by Austra with additional production by Mike Haliechuk, vocal production by Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Killers), engineered by Bill Skibbe and Leon Taheny and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele, Erasure, Hot Chip).

        Austra

        Feel It Break

          On "Feel It Break", Austra co-founder and lead singer Katie Stelmanis, drummer Maya Postepski and bassist Dorian Wolf have crafted a dark, danceable masterpiece suitable for both ritual incantations and clubs; an album hearkening back to the sleazier side of New Wave but still deeply rooted in Stelmanis’ classical and operatic upbringing.


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