I’ll admit that when people are flocking in droves to a band that “you simply MUST listen to” I get a little put off. The initial buzz around Feel It Break had me curious about what Austra was all about. I really enjoyed their first couple of singles, but after being bombarded with so many critics telling me I absolutely HAD to love this album – I didn’t want to bother anymore.
After a while though, I found myself drawn to Austra once more. It was their live performances that really did it for me. As a band, they really know how to work a crowd. Going back and listening to the record, it’s clear that all the credit they were getting was well deserved.
What stands out the most is the vocals. Katie Stelmanis’ power behind the mic offers each song a strength that make the subject matter relevant. I hope I’m not the only one that is reminded of Stevie Nicks on some of the more potent blasts. They both have that ability to fill a room with song, while at the same time hinting at some sort of inner vulnerability.
The balance of light and shade on Feel It Break also stands out. It really is a cool feeling when it sounds like a band is taking you some place bright and uplifting, when in reality it’s actually quite dark. The electronic beats and airy back-up vocals really lend a hand to that illusion.
Beat and the Pulse
Spellwork, The Villain