Austra - 'HiRUDiN'

7/10

You could probably write volumes on the number of songs that have been about a lover leaving someone that have been released in the last year alone. In fact, there are even a dozen or so artists that have made millions from such an idea in just the last decade. But that isn't to say that the idea is a tired or formulaic one, especially when it comes from someone like Austra. Over the years, her work has been a largely varied affair, especially as her previous LP 'Future Politics' focused itself on external power structures that shape society. But for her fourth full-length 'HiRUDiN', she is looking to get far more personal with us.

From the very start, it is clear that something has changed her since her last release. While she normally looks to blow us away with a string of powerful electro-pop cuts, this new collection sees the electronics stripped back to their bare core, delivering something far more intimate in the process. Yet while heartbreak has clearly been the catalyst that has driven this new and solemn aesthetic, these songs do not create a depressing or downtrodden atmosphere, but instead look more towards the future, remaining hopeful and ultimately conjuring a far more uplifting release than we initially thought.

Austra has always looked to push the boundaries of electronic music, but this looks set to be one of the more standout records she has had to offer us over the years. We are beginning to see a new side to her personality with every track, creating one of her most captivating offerings to date and showing us more of who she is as a human being.

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