Austra – Feel It Break

January 01, 1970



Austra’s story, like most things, started somewhere in the
stars. Before their debut album, Feel It
was released on May 18, two thirds of the Toronto-based band were
busy in Galaxy … but with the scope of the vast Canadian music universe that
seemed to pull more and more artists into its big black hole, Galaxy collapsed
and in its place Austra was born, the brightest star to rival the Northern
Lights’ sonic landscape in some time.


As shown on its stellar debut, Austra’s orbit is simply
magnetic, drawing in wary gazers who find themselves spellbound by the goddess
of light the band quite possibly is named for, frontwoman and founder Katie
Stelmanis, whose celestial voice could make moons break down in top spins. A
classically trained vocalist, Stelmanis was first recognized at the age of 10
when she was invited to perform with the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus and
has since used this experience to create harrowing harmonies on songs like
“Lose It” and “Hate Crime” that are so hymnal, due respect would be instant


The greatest strength of Feel
It Break
is its ability to remain a solid electro-dance record without
letting the Spandex grip lose touch of the heart beats that make each song so
emotionally impactful. Like likeminded goth pop mavens Lykke Li, Bat for Lashes
and Zola Jesus, Stelmanis provides deep baggage that listeners would find
therapeutic in unpacking. Elegant snyth sweeps on songs like “Darken Her Horse”
are mathematically syncopated to the nuances of Stelmani’s range with Jedi
strength while heavier chords on “Spellwork” are so dense in construction, they
echo like an anvil.


The golden nuggets on Feel
It Break
are also its own competition as later tracks like “The Choke” and
“Shoot the Water” lose the energy listeners have previously meditated on … or
what one would like to believe is that these numbers are an intentional break
before Stelmanis fires back like a bullet on “The Beast,” which best displays
the pure ferocity of her talent in the album’s final siren song.


It,” “Darken Her Horse,” “The Beast” SELENA FRAGASSI



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