ALBUM REVIEW: Austra – HiRUDiN | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

Narc. Magazine Online

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Released: 01.05.20






While Katie Austra Stelmanis’ 2017 album Future Politics gazed outwards to wider power structures, her fourth record HiRUDiN focuses inwards, examining patterns of behaviour in toxic relationships and the strength to break them.

Reflecting its core subject matter, this is a more contemplative version of Austra. A gentleness characterises the likes of All I Wanted, which has an almost baroque-tinged feel. Not that she has completely shunned maximalism; I Am Not Waiting is a defiant, all-out electro pop jam, while Anywayz is her own version of melancholy disco. Yet sometimes it doesn’t connect emotionally: the pitch-shifted hook of Risk It and child chorus punctuating Mountain Baby feel distant and grating. These moments take some of the emotional weight out of what is otherwise Austra’s most introspective work yet.


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