Austra's "Future Politics" Starts Strong But Loses Energy

Some weird electronica is sometimes all you need to get into a place. Get your fill of that in Austra's new record Future Politics, which is full of weird, wobbly textures.

Future Politics starts off pretty well. 'We Were Alive' brings the album in on a dreamy yet somewhat driven note. The bassy kick hits sound jagged above the glossy textures of the synths, while Katie Stelmanis' vocals soar smoothly above it all, optimistically and with hope. Title track 'Future Politics' with a darker and more urgent flair, the harmonies creepy and the razor synth's bouncing sounding slimy and evil, contrasting the echoing pianos that make the verses. 'Utopia' brings a warmer, poppier vibe before 'I'm A Monster' takes it back to the weird with Björk inspired creepiness. Emptiness is channeled and expressed through the song's longing atmosphere - a nice blend in any scenario.

This album does, however, peak at its start. It's not that the album is bad, it just loses a lot of momentum as it progresses. The middle section of this record is almost devoid of energy or a little extra push to make the music sound a bit more exciting and alive. The quiet textures can only do so much, meanwhile the same is true of the standard drum beats and synth sounds. Anything brought in a surplus becomes stale. 'Freepower,' for example, is weird and just feels incomplete. It takes ages to get going, and even when it does it's pretty underwhelming. The second half needs more.

Future Politics starts strong but loses energy pretty quickly. Austra has definitely found a comfortable sound, but it does feel like they're not quite confident enough to venture outside of that small hole. Weird electronica, like anything, is good in moderation. That means for becoming too stale.

Favorite Tracks: I'm A Monster, We Were Alive

Least Favorite Tracks: Freepower, Gaia, 43

Rating: 67 / 100

Buy or listen to Future Politics here: