Thursday, Canadian synth-pop artist Austra shared news of her fourth album HiRUDiN, the follow-up to 2017’s Future Politics. Last month, Austra shared the single “Risk It,” which will be included on the album and function as its lead single. Singer Katie Stelmanis says the album was recorded after dealing with a toxic relationship.
“I was losing faith in my own ideas,” she recalls in a statement. “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.” The album’s name is a reference to the naturally occurring peptide hirudin, which is released by leaches and is one of the world’s best anticoagulants. It serves as a metaphor for letting go of harmful people, ideas and influences.
Along with the album announcement, Austra shared a video for HiRUDiN’s second single, “Anywayz.” Directed by Jasmin Mozaffari, the video has a gauzy romanticism, taking place in a gothic house with overgrown vines and spiraling staircases. Of the collaboration, Mozafferi says, “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.”
Stelmanis finds power in the track, the album’s opener, saying, “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 song’s tone is quietly defiant, with Stelmanis’ soaring voice reaching feverishly resistant pitches, then dipping into dark troughs.
HiRUDiN is set for release on May 1 via Domino Records. You can check out the video for “Anywayz” below, as well as info about the album and Austra’s tour dates.
HiRUDiN Album Art:
02. All I Wanted
03. How Did You Know?
04. Your Family
05. Risk It
06. Interlude i
07. It’s Amazing
08. Mountain Baby feat. Cecile Believe
09. I Am Not Waiting
10. Interlude ii
Austra Tour Dates:
05 – Toronto, Ont. @ Longboat Hall
07 – New York, N.Y. @ The Sultan Room – SOLD OUT
12 – London, U.K. @ Hoxton Hall – SOLD OUT
13 – Paris, France @ Le Badaboum – SOLD OUT
14 – Barcelona, Spain @ Mil.Leni Festival
16 – Palma de Mallorca, Spain @ Mallorca Live Festival
18 – Berlin, Germany @ Theater Im Delphi – SOLD OUT
20 – Warsaw, Poland @ Niebo
21 – Vienna, Austria @ WUK
22 – Madrid, Spain @ Tomavistas Festival