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Austra’s ‘Future Politics’: Album Review

Future Politics is the second album by Austra and was released 20 January 2017. Austra is a Canadian electronic band comprised of 3 members. The album consists of 11 tracks and runs for approximately 45 minutes.

Upon first hearing the title track, Future Politics I was in love and impressed with this album. The album as a whole mocks and points out faults within governments, especially when comparing the rich against the poor. The album will often reference how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It battles with themes of political unrest and blaming oneself for their own lack of happiness.



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The cover. Shot at Luis barragan’s Cuadra San Cristobal in Mexico City by the amazing @renataraksha. Styled by @grace_joel, hair + makeup by @servulo_servullo. Text by Nick steinhart. All the photos from this shoot are insane I’m excited for u to see them! Pre-order the album for a limited edition vinyl with a signed poster, link in bio.

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A major musical technique that Austra uses in this album is the sampling of the The Sims 3 speech. Austra takes the mumbled speech used by The Sims and samples it in their music. This gives the music a new edge and surprises the listener as it is a innovative sampling method that may be familiar to some listeners if they know the sims game well.

I heard one of their old songs from their first album in The Sims and loved it when I first heard it. I then proceeded to search the web for all songs used in the game and listened to each one until I found it.

The 2nd track, Future Politics, is at the core of this album and sets the tone for the whole album. Austra was cleaver to not mention specific governments or people and leaves this interpretation up to the listener.

The bands vocalist Katie Stelmanis repeats in the chorus, “I’m never coming back here, there’s only one way; future politics”. This line has always stuck out to me as this indicates that people have given up hope for their governments and are looking for change and perhaps even a rebellion.



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Throughout the album we find the rich vs poor theme constantly making an appearance. In the song Future Politics, Katie sings, “the system won’t help you when your money runs out” and “I’m not a coward like them. I don’t need more money”. This song could perhaps be referring to the fact that some governments aren’t looking out for their people, and only care about making more money.

The songs in this album continually swap perspective between blaming the government and blaming oneself.  After Utopia a song where Katie depicts a society where everyone actual cares about each other, we are then presented with I am a monster where the song describes how nasty and cruel the world actually is. “I am a monster” and “I don’t feel nothing, anymore” are repeated throughout this song. This change in perspective between I am a monster and Utopia juxtaposes the reality we live in to what we could be, perhaps this being a happy society defunct of capitalism. By shifting between the ideology that the world we live in is in shambles because of the government and then because of us as individuals really forces the listener to question where they place in society.


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The albums final track 43 is possibly the most powerful and fortifies the previous tracks themes and messages. The opening “Do you acknowledge what I’m saying?” makes it clear that the themes used in the previous tracks are significant. The band is using this album to not only point out government faults, but to get people to really think about them. And a society which thinks and questions their government can be a powerful thing.



Each song on the album has unique music and beats that complement the lyrics which make them catchy and pleasant to listen to. I find it rare for music artists to sing about such political topics and still make them interesting.

I am yet to come across someone in Australia who knows of this band’s existence, so for now this album is a hidden gem of mine and one of my favourite albums of all time.

To conclude, I give this a 9.5 out of 10 losing 0.5 of a mark for not making it into The Sims 4.

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