Connecting the plot points strewn about Austra
's new video for "Spellwork" is a bit of a mystery, but the Canadian artist most certainly nailed the aesthetic. The general, ritualistic activities happening here seem befitting of the witchy, musical characteristics Austra shapes the song in. It's all a bit moody, though nothing is too dark and menacing -- the forest is bright and inviting, unique fashion statements abound, and seriously...they're all slurping down sugary sweet watermelon, not pig's blood. Come to think of it, this is pretty much a typical, summer sight if you live around any young, urban enclave in the summertime.
Austra is a Canadian electronic music band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 2009. The band consists of Katie Stelmanis (vocals, keyboards), her former Galaxy bandmate Maya Postepski (drums) and former Spiral Beach bassist Dorian Wolf. They played a number of early shows under the name Private Life before learning that another band was already using the name; they subsequently named the band after Stelmanis' middle name Austra, which is also the name of the goddess of light in Latvian mythology. Austra also includes twin backing singers Sari and Romy Lightman of Tasseomancy and keyboardist Ryan Wonsiak of Ze and the Boyfriends.
Austra's debut album Feel It Break was released on May 17, 2011 by Paper Bag Records. On July 6, 2011, the album was shortlisted for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, but lost out to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. Feel It Break was included on several year-end critics' lists; notably, both the Toronto Star and New York named it the best album of 2011, with the former calling it "an outright stunner". Stereogum named Austra a Band to Watch on March 14, 2011.