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Austra – Stream the New Album and Read Our Review of It

HiRUDiN Out Now via Domino

May 01, 2020 Austra
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Austra (the project of Katie Austra Stelmanis) has released a new album, HiRUDiN, today via Domino. Now that the album’s out you can stream the whole thing below. Also, today we posted our review of the album and you can read that here.

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. Then she 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). “Mountain Baby” 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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May 4th 2020

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