Artist of the Week: Austra
Their debut album, 2011’s Feel It Break, was a refreshing and rather creeping take, driven by Stelmanis’ operatic vocals, on the dark electronica meets industrial pop landscape populated by acts such as Fever Ray, Glasser and Zola Jesus. The record received a lot of critical attention and was nominated for that year’s prestigious Pulsar Music Prize.
Their recently released sophomore effort, Olympia, showcases an fuller synth-pop sound that is related with the fact than the band was meanwhile expanded from a trio to a six piece with the addition of Tasseomancy twin backing singers Sari and Romi Lightman and keyboardist Ryan Wonsiak. The beats and the pulses, to paraphrase the Feel It Break track title, are denser and warmer than ever and offer a fierce contrast to Stelmanis’ icy and show-stopping vocal performance, offering a much more intriguing update to Kate Bush classic art rock than Florence + The Machine and other sound-alikes.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.