Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Austra, Creep and some Witchery Dubskip...

If other people can make up labels, so can I? Well too late ‘Witchery Dubskip’ could be the new sound of 2011.  And so introducing Austra... with 'Beat And The Pulse'.

Witch House’ on the other hand, as an electronic sub genre really is a minefield; you have to sift through the growly, fascistic imagery of some  EBM and inverted symbols that mostly give me a ‘Slimelight’ hangover.

But to clarify ‘vaguely’, Witch House is? Well I’m sure some will lash out with their winkle pickers over a ‘pure’ definition; to me its gothic synth led dance music with an occasional dubsteppy surprise. Mostly led by melancholic female vocals, hence the ‘witch’ bit (even though contrary to popular belief, ‘witch’ is not a gendered term and some of it doesn’t even sound like House).

And then, in the big old label muddle, you find the likes of Creep, whose track ‘Days’ featuring Romy XX was one of my favourites of 2010.  Happily now, with the new discovery of Austra, it all becomes quite lovely eyeliner doom pop. I don’t want to taint them with the same spiky brush that makes ugly noise… so enjoy this slice of ‘Witchery Dubskip’; sub genre ‘sounds good to me’.

Austra are making waves early on, already featured in ‘The Buzz’ in NME and that same day, they made it to an XFM playlist, not exactly drive time and I think it was after midnight but they are definitely ones to keep a watchful nocturnal eye out for.

What they sound like so far is very good, very Depeche Mode inspired gloomy electro, mixed up with some of The Cure and Cocteau Twins angst. The main vocalist, Katie Stelmanis, is a classically trained Toronto based musician, proving again that Canada can churn out some edgy electronica, along with the other darlings like Crystal Castles and quirky ‘Diamond Rings’.

Austra, however, are a little more relaxed, down tempo but with big, big vocals…have a listen to ' Beat and the Pulse’, it really does ‘pulsate’ through you, I just lovelovelove it.  Matched with such a classic uber goth static for the video and with a touch of ‘Behind the Wheel’ in the instrumentals, it is really good for your ears basically. 


It’s great to hear some female musicians doing this sound with their own empowering stamp rather than girlies merely covering a Mode song. Actually the boys are guilty of this too, no more wannabe Gahan’s needed here, especially with the exciting news of a new Mode remix album coming out this year.

For more gorgeousness from Austra, check out ‘Young and Gay’, with a teeny hint of ‘Leave in Silence’ this time around and 'Energy', to me it has a big dose of Siouxsie and the Banshees …a bit of electronic jiggery pokery is just what we all need sometimes…enjoy! 

'Beat and The Pulse' is being released by Domino February 21st in the UK and with an album to follow later in the year.

And now for more Creep, yes I've already raved about them over on Electronically Yours and on here a while back for its fabulousness; people are jumping on this track to make remixes and they are really doing the single justice...so here's more featuring the down tempo gorgeousness of Romy Madley Croft remixed by Soul Clap and oh so slowed down but still tinkly synth lovely.

Lauren Dillard and Lauren Flax are the current forerunners in Witch House...pah 'Witchery Dubskip' I say...

And to end on perhaps the funniest video ever, I think I was still laughing in my sleep at this...bonkersly brilliant and how much do I want to join that dance troop? To clarify the relevance to this post, this is singer Katie Stelmanis from Austra in a previous solo incarnation with her debut single bewitchingly video pimped by  Jesi The Elder Dancers...pure comedy genius...cackle cackle...



  1. Looking forward to spending some time with Austra. The Katie Stelmanis Video is one of my favorite videos ever. I love it when the goose gets zapped.

  2. hehe kindred spirit then...I find it funny but I guess it may be an 'acquired' sense of humour :) Austra sound great!

  3. Stlll adore 'The Beat and The Pulse' and love the pumpy 122 remix.

    Very good find you :)

    x x

  4. Or rather 'Beat and the Pulse' 12" remix? Love your typos ;) xxx