New York City, NY
I recently discovered Austra when I came across the song “Lose It” and was immediately hooked. It’s one of those handful of songs that hit me right in my musical G-spot. When I listen to it, my body tingles and I feel like a real woman. The whole song is perfectly written and I listened to it like 30 times in a row the day I first heard it. What I’m trying to say is that I like the song. The rest of the album is pretty good too. It falls in line with what I call the “indie-goth” scene that has been emerging on my iPod lately, along with bands such as Cold Cave and Zola Jesus.
Austra is, for the most part, singer/keyboardist Katie Stelmanis’ project. A drummer and bassist, Maya Postepski and Dorian Wolf respectively, are credited as band members, but I’m pretty sure Katie’s running the show. The focal point of Austra’s music is the vocals. Voices are used as instruments to create layered harmonies. To pull it off live, the band is augmented by two singers to sing the parts rather than relying on samples. The result is excellent. Check out the bridge in “The Beat and the Pulse” to see what I’m talking about.
Several songs included in the set the were not on the “Feel It Break” LP. After the show, I discovered that two of the songs I didn’t know were B-sides from “The Beat and the Pulse” single. I’m completely making this up, but no band has released a single with B-sides since 1996. Back in the day, I used to love tracking down singles of bands I listened to to see what non-album tracks were being included. For some reason, a disproportionate amount of those B-sides were better than the singles they were backing. I thought it was very cool to see of Austra release some album leftovers as part of an under the radar release and sell it at the show.
In addition to the aforementioned B-sides, there was a new song “Habitat” performed as well as most of the “Feel It Break” album. I really can’t complain with the content of the setlist, although I didn’t like hearing “Lose It” so early in the setlist. That song is just simply too awesome to be played fourth.
1. The Beast
2. Young and Gay
3. Hate Crime
4. Lose It
5. The Choke
6. The Villain
8. Darken Her Horse
9. The Beat and the Pulse
11. The Future
Download: Austra – New York City – 10/5/11 – 420 MB
Sample: Lose It (Live)
Sample: The Beast and the Pulse (Live)