April 16, 2011

Austra


As if we needed any further evidence that listening to "goth" music isn't all that much of a bad thing these days, here comes Austra, 2011's slightly more danceable answer to Zola Jesus. Based out of Toronto and led by beautiful blond-haired chanteuse, Katie Stelmanis, the three-piece outfit brushes together shimmering electronica and Stelmanis' powerful vocals in a similarly dark fashion to that of late-era Nine Inch Nails, The Knife and Karin Dreijer Andersson's other project, Fever Ray. Stelmanis started in music at the early age of 10 as a member of Canada's premiere opera choirs, but it wasn't until she got older and was exposed to punk rock that she decided to use her gift of voice and classical-leaning background in conjunction with a new found love of rebellious music to create something all her own. Stelmanis' has since appeared on Fucked Up's acclaimed The Chemistry of Common Life, released a solo effort but will be putting the focus on Austra when they release their debut, Feel It Break, this May on Domino Records. Mixed by Damian Taylor (Björk, The Prodigy,) it's big sounding, dark synth pop with a healthy dose of confrontational sexual reflection that has already culminated in a YouTube-censored lesbian-centric video for their single, "Beat and the Pulse." Alongside drummer, Maya Postepski, Stelmanis is gay and has gone on the record to say she would like "to be recognized as someone who makes interesting, experimental music and also identifies as queer." With mainstream train wrecks such as Lady Gaga using open sexuality for marketing's sake, music needs Austra's more sincere and up-front take on the matter.

Austra - "Lose It"

"Beat and the Pulse" (NSFW)
Directed by: Claire Edmondson

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