Weekly Soundtrack: Austra

By Anna Piszczkiewicz

No matter how diverse and nuanced my musical tastes become, I return to the electro-industrial soundtrack of my teenage years with heaps of nostalgia. It seems this music fine-tuned my ears for anything similar.

Enter Austra – the Toronto-based electro-goth trio fronted by classically trained Katie Stelmanis.

As soon as I heard their single, “Lose It,” I immediately bought their debut album Feel It Break (2011). It’s an impeccably crafted record: eerily atmospheric with dark, danceable beats and haunting vocals.

“Lose It”

Before Austra (named after Stelmanis’ Latvian middle name) she worked on a number of musical projects, playing in the riot grrrl band Galaxy and releasing a solo album.

She began performing with the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus at age 10 but left opera in her late teens for the world of electronic music.

Today, Stelmanis is joined by drummer/programmer Maya Postepski and bassist Dorian Wolf and tours as an expanded six-piece band, along with Ryan Wonsiak and Romy and Sari Lightman.

“Beat and the Pulse”

Katie Stelmanis and her band are taking a break from an intense touring schedule before they hit the road again in May to play the Sonar Festival of Advanced Music and New Media in Barcelona and Sao Paulo.

Definitely a band to watch.

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