Austra Shares New Song “Mountain Baby” Featuring Cecile Believe and a Children’s Choir | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Sunday, December 3rd, 2023  

Austra Shares New Song “Mountain Baby” Featuring Cecile Believe and a Children’s Choir

HiRUDiN Due Out May 1 via Domino

Apr 16, 2020 Photography by Virginie Khateeb Austra
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Austra (the project of Katie Austra Stelmanis) is releasing a new album, HiRUDiN, on May 1 via Domino. Now she has shared another song from it, “Mountain Baby,” which features Cecile Believe and a children’s choir from Wilkinson Public School in Toronto (Stelmanis’ mother is a teacher there). Listen below.

Stelmanis had this to say about the song in a press release: “‘Mountain Baby’ explores the different stages of a breakup. Surrounded by a feeling of unknown and grounded only by a hidden sense to move forward (the choir), we’re also reminded through flashbacks of both the uncertainty and resistance we experienced in the relationship (Katie), as well as the pure, unbridled joy (Cecile).”

HiRUDiN includes “Risk It,” a new song Austra shared in January via an animated video. Then when the album was announced she shared another song from it, “Anywayz,” via a Jasmin Mozzafari-directed video. “Anywayz” was one of our Songs of the Week.

Read our recent COVID-19 Quarantine Artist Check In interview with Austra.

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.”

Read our 2016 Artist Survey interview with Austra.

Austra Tour Dates:

9/16/20 - Toronto, ON @ Great Hall
10/9/20 - Brooklyn, NY @ The Sultan Room
11/4/20 - Warsaw, PL @ Niebo
11/12/20 - Vienna, AT @ Flex
11/15/20 - Berlin, DE @ Metropol
11/26/20 - Paris, FR @ La Machine Du Moulin Rouge
12/2/20 - London, UK @ EartH
12/4/20 - Barcelona, ES @ Mil.Leni Festival
12/5/20 - Madrid, ES @ Cool

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