Austra Announces New Album, Shares Video for New Song “Anywayz” | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Sunday, July 5th, 2020  

Austra Announces New Album, Shares Video for New Song “Anywayz”

HiRUDiN Due Out May 1 via Domino

Mar 05, 2020 Photography by Virginie Khateeb
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Austra (the project of Katie Austra Stelmanis) has announced a new album, HiRUDiN, and shared a new song from it, album opener "Anywayz," via a video for the track. HiRUDiN is due out May 1 via Domino. It includes "Risk It," a new song Austra shared in January via an animated video. Check out the Jasmin Mozzafari-directed video for "Anywayz" below, followed by the album's tracklist and cover art, as well as Austra's upcoming tour dates.

HiRUDiN is the follow-up to 2017's Future Politics. For the album Stelmanis worked with external producers for the first time, Rodaidh McDonald and Joseph Shabason, recording it in the Spanish countryside. Additional recording was done in Toronto with contemporary classical improv group c_RL, the cellist and kamanche duo Kamancello, kulintang ensemble Pantayo, and a children's choir. David Wrench mixed the album and Heba Kadry mastered it.

The album was borne out of a crisis of confidence ("I was losing faith in my own ideas," Stelmanis says in a press release) and a toxic relationship. Stelmanis felt like she had to start over. "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," she says.

Of "Anywayz" Stelmanis had this to say: "It explores the fear associated with leaving someone, and the terrifying realization that without them in your life, the rest of the world will continue unscathed as if nothing has changed."

The press release further describes the themes on the album: "HiRUDiN points inward, tracing a deeply personal journey towards regeneration, dealing with the fallout of toxic relationships, queer shame, and insecurity along the way. Named after the peptide released by leeches that is the most potent anticoagulant in the world, HiRUDiN is about the importance of healing the self, letting go of harmful influences, and finding the power to rebuild."

Mozzafari, the director of the video for "Anywayz" (and also the video for "Risk It") had this to say about the video in a press release: "I wanted the video to feel as dramatic and chaotic as heartbreak can be, bringing this fear into fruition. The concept focuses on Katie as a heightened version of herself, sequestered inside a barren mansion that resembles a cage of her own spiralling thoughts. She resists moving on, yet as time persists and the outside world thrives, it eventually forces itself upon her."

Read our 2016 Artist Survey interview with Austra.

HiRUDiN Tracklist:

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 Tour Dates:

5/5 - Toronto, ON @ Longboat Hall
5/7 - New York, NY @ The Sultan Room
5/12 - London, UK @ Hoxton Hall
5/13 - Paris, France @ Le Badaboum
5/14 - Barcelona, Spain @ Mil.Leni Festival
5/16 - Palma de Mallorca, Spain @ Mallorca Live Festival
5/18 - Berlin, Germany @ Theater Im Delphi
5/20 - Warsaw, Poland @ Niebo
5/21 - Vienna, Austria @ WUK
5/22 - Madrid, Spain @ Tomavistas Festival

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