Strangely appropriate for 2017, Autra’s latest album Future Politics describes a dystopian future that may be closer than ever. While Olympia was upbeat and bright, Future Politics has a more dark and ominous atmosphere. The sound is a bit more stripped down but it says what it needs to.
“It’s like we were alive,” sing Katie Stelmanis in the first track. The title track employs an addictive beat while the melody remains dissonant. “Utopia” is more lush and explains a place that doesn’t seem too far from current times, giving us hope for a future better than now. “Gaia” teaches us to respect earth singing, “The physical world Is the only world / If you kill the ground you walk on / Nobody will take you anyway.”
“I’m a Monster” is a masterpiece of basic electropop and proclaims that someone who feels nothing, or has given up is the worst of all. Future Politics was written before Trump’s inauguration but much of the album can apply to what is happening at the moment. I remember seeing signs at protests that declare that those that are neutral about politics are actually siding with the bad guys.
The album’s closing track “43” is the most powerful drawn from the massacre in Iguana, Mexico where that many lives were lost. Despite the overly political tone, the album never feels too heavy. There are awesome jams like “Freepower”, which give us the chance to dance. At the end of the day, even when the future may be bleak, it’ll be the music that comes out of the times that will get us through it.