new music: austra
  • MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2010

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Here's a track that's whirling on repeat this week: "The Beat and The Pulse", a dense, electro potion that's right in line with what contemporaries like Glasser and Oh Land are knocking back these days. But creator Katie Stelmanis is on a darker tip...pop to be sure, but shrouding her music in a bit more Nordic mystery. It works.

To match the aura, Stelmanis named her project Austra; an icy isle that lies just off the coast of Norway. Stelmanis is Canadian however, and can count roots that once lay in more classic pursuits. Debussy, Mozart, Bach; she would spend her more formative years in obsessive study of their work, even thinking she might one day sing opera. A teenage shift towards more contemporary music would divert that focus, with punk, pop, and rock and roll soon following.

Her solo project points to a slight journey back to the beginning though. With the three song "The Beat and The Pulse" 12", Stelmanis demonstrates a careful knack for composition, and places pointed emphasis on haunting melodies that power her music. These are harsh, yet beautiful soundscapes, navigating a swell of mood and emotion as they cycle through.

The "The Beat and The Pulse" 12" will be available Nov. 16th via One Big Silence Records. A full length is also apparently in the works. Austra also has a few shows on the books, which are listed below. - David Pitz

Austra on Tour:
Dec 3 - Bovine Sex Club - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA
Dec 4 - Glasslands - Brooklyn, NY
Dec 6 - Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
Dec 18 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL

* * * * * * * * * * * *
MP3: "The Beat and The Pulse"
Austra on Myspace

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