Comprised of a simple rhythm section backing up keyboardist and vocalist Katie Stelmanis, this trio harkens back to the clean-and-clear electro of the early-to-mid 2000s, before Tropical, Chillwave, and Witch House (and other made up genre-memes) drowned the blogosphere in a tidal wave of goth triangles at the beach.
Not to mention, Stelmanis has got herself some serious vocal pipes.
"Beat and the Pulse," the first single from Austra's debut LP, Feel It Break, set the stage for the group's brooding electro-pop, reminiscent of 2000s staples like The Knife and spin-off ensemble Fever Ray. The song's driving beat and pulsing synth arpeggios provide a fitting soundtrack to the video's Fionna-Apple-at-an-American-Apparel-work-party aesthetic.
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However, Stelmanis and company's follow-up, "Lose It," greatly separates them from their more overtly clubby predecessors, thanks in no small part to the singer's soaring vocals. The backdrop is a twinkly, speedy instrumental, bright enough to set the tone. The song is nostalgic, redemptive, and generally emotive where "Beat and the Pulse" was an ice queen jam. But it's also sparse enough for the vocalist to show off her classically trained cords with equal parts bravado and vibrato.