“People have always been good at imagining the end of the world,” wrote Rebecca Solnit, “which is much easier to picture than the strange sidelong paths of change in a world without end.”
The future won’t look like the past: dystopian dread takes this for granted, but utopian imagination is just as valid. Future Politics, Austra’s third, and most ambitious album to date, calls for radical hope: “a commitment to replace the approaching dystopia,” says Katie Stelmanis, who leads Austra with the support of Maya Postepski (Princess Century, TR/ST), Dorian Wolf, and Ryan Wonsiak. “Not just hope in the future, but the idea that everyone is required to help write it, and the boundaries of what it can look like are both fascinating and endless. It’s not about ‘being political,’ it’s about reaching beyond boundaries, in every single field.”
Future Politics, a collection of urgent, but disciplined anthems for dancefloor and headphones, asks each of us to remember that apocalypse is not an inevitability, but the product of human decision-making. It aims for a world without borders, where human compassion and curiosity drive technological innovation rather than profit, where the necessity of labor is replaced with time for creativity and personal growth, and the terror and destruction wrought by colonialism and white supremacy is recognized as a dark age in human history. The album is radicalism distilled: to galvanic beats, gorgeous, kinetic melodies, and the vulnerable majesty of Stelmanis’s voice. “Future Politics,” with its steady, propulsive beat and siren-like synth hook, is both anthem and ultimatum: we have a duty to imagine better, and to imagine big.