According to Latvian mythology, Austra is the goddess of light. In actuality, Austra is a Toronto-based trio consisting of former members of Galaxy and Spiral Beach and their music is as dark as it is light. Earlier this year, Austra the band illuminated this plane of existence with electronic pop twisted into something dark by a potently bewitching voice on their “Beat and the Pulse” single and EP. As the latest signee to Domino Records, their debut album Feel it Break is set to drop on May 17th, and to make that wait seem even longer is Austra’s second single “Lose It.”
Just as with “Beat and the Pulse,” what immediately stands out on “Lose It” is the attention-seizing voice of frontwoman Katie Stelmanis. Having performed for the Canadian Opera Company as a child, Stelmanis brings an operatic touch to the tradition of formally trained singers and musicians abandoning the sterilized rigidity of the classical and opera worlds for the freedom of indie. The result is an infectious four and a half minutes of goth pop that hexes the soul with eerie vocals and entices the body to dance along to the throbbing beat. If the rest of Feel it Break is as enchanting as “Lose It,” then Austra will be one of the acts to watch in 2011.