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Austra Introduce New LP ‘Olympia’ With Upbeat, Operatic ‘Home’

Toronto electroni-pop act goes big for sophomore LP

picture-18276-1372868632By: Chris Martins // March 7, 2013

The last time we checked in with Austra, the dark electroni-pop act was a three-piece overseen by Katie Stelmanis, a former Fucked Up contributor with an operatic voice and a palpable affinity for Kate Bush. The group’s 2010 debut Feel it Break was a promising start, but the band’s been touring since (with the xx and Grimes among others) and accruing members along the way. Austra is now a fully collaborative sextet with a new LP on the way: Olympia, due June 18 on Domino.

“This is the album where we discovered rhythm,” said Stelmanis via statement. “We are really into dense harmonies and big beautiful melodies, but I also love techno and dance music. I wanted to bring those elements together.” Indeed, first taste “Home” combines her expressive vocals with dramatic instrumentation and a surprisingly lithe beat. Best of all — that hand percussion and those flute flurries are real. Austra eschewed samples and even loops on this one, giving the forthcoming full-length’s 12 songs an additional assist where grounding in concerned. Speaking of ground, Austra will be covering a good deal of it beginning next week with SXSW and picking back up in June. Check the tour dates and Olympia‘s track list below.

Austra, Olympia track list:

1. “What We Done?”
2. “Forgive Me”
3. “Painful Like”
4. “Sleep”
5. “Home”
6. “Fire”
7. “I Don’t Care (I’m a Man)”
8. “We Become”
9. “Reconcile”
10. “Annie (Oh muse, you)”
11. “You Changed My Life”
12. “Hurt Me Now”

Austra tour dates:

March 13 – Austin, TX @ Vice Land (Vice SXSW)
March 14 – Austin, TX @ Hype Hotel (Hype Machine SXSW)
March 15 – Austin, TX @ The Mohawk (Windish SXSW)
March 16 – Austin, TX @ Elysium (Moog SXSW)
March 16 – Austin, TX @ Old Emo’s (Brooklynvegan SXSW)
June 2 – Dublin, IE @ Forbidden Fruit
June 6 – Zurich, SE @ Plaza
June 7 – Luzerne, SE @ Sudpol
June 8 – Yverdon-les Bains, SE @ L’Amalgame
June 10 – Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
June 12 – Paris, FR @ Nouvelle Casino
June 14 – Berlin, DE @ Lido
June 17 – London, UK @ Hoxton Bar Grill
June 20 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
June 23 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
June 26 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent