This past Friday, Canadian electronic-pop project Austra released their latest album, Future Politics. The alignment of the LP’s title and release date on Donald Trump’s inauguration day was actually a coincidence, but chief songwriter and vocalist Katie Stelmanis — who has described the record as “a commitment to replace the approaching dystopia” — flipped the script into something positive.
“Two years ago, I started writing Future Politics in response to what I saw as a fast approaching dystopia,” Stelmanis writes. “I meant it as a call to imagine something different, a better future. At the time, Donald Trump was not even on the radar — now here we are, confronted with his election and the impending dystopia is suddenly a reality. Our long planned release date now has the horrible significance of also being the day he takes office. This record is our commitment to envisioning something different as humans, something outside of the current systems of say what you want, take what you want, and give nothing back.”
The fundraising has concluded, but the message remains. As Austra prepares for a North American tour that begins Tuesday (January 24) at the Sinclair in Cambridge, Future Politics is available to buy and/or stream below via Bandcamp. On our first few listens, the title track is the true standout, a modernized take on synth-pop that blends the best of Ladytron and Zola Jesus into one empowering musical cocktail as Stelmanis sings “I’m looking for something to rise up above.”
“I still have radical hope for the future, and I would be honored for Future Politics to be a part of your soundtrack to creating change,” adds Stelmanis.