Arts & Entertainment

Austra’s dark twist on Canadian pop

 | January 9, 2012

Canada’s indie scene is exploding with good music lately. One band that really stands out right now is Toronto’s Austra, a quirky group with lots of talent and potential.

Austra’s debut album Feel it Break, which came out in May this year, is a dark take on synthy-pop music with haunting and austere vocals combined with punchy drums, deep bass, and glittering synthesizers. The highlight of the album is singer/songwriter Katie Stelmanis, an opera-trained vocalist with distinction and range. Her voice is definitely the fingerprint of this band.

Austra, which used be the punk band Galaxy, also features the talents of drummer Maya Postepski and bassist Dorian Wolf. The band enlisted the mixing expertise of Canadian sound engineer Damian Taylor (Bjork, UNKLE, the Prodigy) to produce Feel it Break, an album with serious popularity potential.

The most recognizable song on the album, “The Beat and the Pulse” has stirred the interest of CBC Radio 3, among many music fans. The catchy bass and synth underline Stelmanis haunting vocals. “Lose It” is one of the more upbeat-sounding tracks featuring Stelmanis opera range, and needs to be on a snowboard or ski video somewhere—it would sound great.

Watch out for Austra in 2012. If the stars align right they’re sure to making festival appearances across Canada. For now, plug into Feel it Break and enjoy.