‘HiRUDiN’, the fourth LP from Canadian singer and producer Katie Stelmanis, is texturally inventive and positive. Named after the chemical released by leeches to prevent blood clots, a major lyrical theme present throughout this album is the need to break free from bad influences; “You make me so angry, I love you” go the frustrated opening lyrics of ‘Anywayz’. ‘Mountain Baby’, featuring Cecile Believe, is constructed of an almost-early ‘00s hip hop beat, a nostalgic piano loop, and call-and-response vocals, breathing with so much excitement and confidence that it comes close to falling over itself - but never quite topples. ‘It’s Amazing’ is uplifting and atmospheric, starting calmly with heavenly vocals and a soulful bassline, but after drawing tension falls perfectly into a powerful chorus filled with fizzing synths and marching drums. While the unique sonics and instrumentation of this album are notably brilliant, they at times feel disjointed on a track-to-track basis.
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