Audra has dropped their new lyric video for ‘Planet Of Me’ featuring Mike VanPortfleet of Lycia. Throbbing like a band that hasn’t officially recorded in ten years and has much more in the can ready to go, ‘Planet Of Me’ is a stunning percussive attack with a crystal clear and downright moody guitar underscored by a subdued emotional vocal track that, when combined, can tell a story via the music.
Released digitally on August 23, ‘Dear Tired Friends’ is now also available on limited edition CD (300 copies) and vinyl (100 black, 50 smokey and 150 clear copies). Copies can be ordered directly from Audra’s own Bandcamp.
Formed in 1991 in Mesa, Arizona, Audra is primarily Bart and Bret Helm – two brothers originally hailing from Chicago – joined by drummer Jason DeWolfe Barton. This album also includes a guest appearance by Mike VanPortfleet of Lycia on lead guitar for the song ‘Planet of Me’.
Comprised of 10 tracks, this album was mastered at The Cage Studios in Coventry, UK by Martin Bowes of Attrition, well known for his work with Nine Inch Nails, Psychic TV and Steven Severin of Siouxsie & the Banshees. Earlier, Audra ran a successful Indiegogo campaign to assist in the production costs of the CD & vinyl editions. Mixing was completed in July 2019.
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What started as a 4-song EP recording session quickly turned into something much larger for Audra. When assembling demos for this release, the brothers discovered a virtual time capsule – the song ‘Wish No Harm’, which they had recorded on cassette tape with a Fostex 4-Track tape machine back in 1993. In June 2018, Bret finally completed the song, adding lyrics and melody to the original demo. 26 years later, the song would be released as the first single off ‘Dear Tired Friends’.
“Our music is informed by all of the bands that we grew up with – the stark landscapes of post-punk mixed with the tribal grandeur of early Jane’s Addiction and the poetic eclecticism of Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground,” says Bret Helm. Audra’s sound and aesthetic have also been influenced by Joy Division, David Bowie, U2, James and Tom Waits.
This is Audra’s first release since their 2009 album ‘Everything Changes’. It is also the band’s first foray into DIY production and distribution. The band’s first two albums – ‘Audra’ (2000) and ‘Going to the Theatre’ (2002) – were released through Projekt Records.
Audra has collaborated with Grammy-nominated producer Robb Vallier and Robin Wilson (Gin Blossoms), as well as recording in his studio Uranus Recording. They have toured or otherwise performed with Peter Murphy, The Mission UK, AFI, She Wants Revenge, Gene Loves Jezebel, New Model Army, and Nitzer Ebb.
Audra’s Bret Helm also made guest appearances with the dark cabaret band Black Tape for a Girl on two albums, several compilations and dozens of live shows. He also recently recorded the ‘Pretty Haunted Things’ album with dark folk collective Unto Ashes, also performing for the headline slot at 2019’s illustrious Wave Gotik Treffen Festival in Leipzig.