Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Austra...brilliant new video for 'Beat and the Pulse'

Austra seem to have embraced experimentation not dissimilar to the artistic approach of ‘The Knife’... so of course I love this new video release for ‘Beat and the Pulse'.  It’s another gem to share in a week of pretty fabulous music videos that visually tease and add to the anticipation of more to come from these new bands.

If you are at all familiar with some of her earlier work, Katie Stelmanis, the main vocalist for Austra, has always been dark and very dramatic, nowadays mixing up a menagerie of stark electro for her current band.
Sounding like early Depeche Mode, through Bjork, a bit of Lykke, some Fever Ray and all matched with vocals of operatic levels having been classically trained in her homeland Toronto; it all smacks of super brilliance.

This very interesting video directed by Claire Edmondson does give a little taste of what’s in the pipeline with Katie Stelmanis’ latest project Austra. It is stylish and darkly erotic and does have some nudity in places for those of a delicate disposition or those surfing in the office. Censorship of art isn't a good thing but if you prefer, there are 'so called' clean versions knocking about in blogland and Youtube. Nipples are welcome here though,  as are oddly webbed fingers and arms and anything wonderfully weird in music.

So what was all that about?  Not just boobies, you lazy reviewers out there. Surely a take on female sexuality and empowerment, the ‘beat and the pulse', being alive, is the beauty and truly feminine and not the tiresome pursuit of perfection? Could be?

It’s no accident that this video is packed full of women of all sizes, nationalities and looks.  The females in electronic music aren’t just singing and looking pretty anymore, they are pushing the buttons and taking more control and making points in their production; empowering on many levels in what is quite a sexist industry.

The quirky dancing ranges from the exotic to the clumsy as does the underwear they are cavorting around in for the ladies perched on chairs, ironically fully clothed and looking the most uncomfortable.   All under the watchful eye of the enigmatic front woman and the electronic beats of this fantastic debut from an album due out in May…yay!  Feel It Break will definitely be an exciting offering and guessing by the tracklist will be full of noir otherworldliness and fetish delights to dance about to.

Backed by her band Maya Postepski and Dorian Wolf and mixed by Damian Taylor of Bjork and Robyn fame, Austra are definitely making some waves now.

Tracklist for Feel It Break:

Darken Her Horse
Lose It
The Future
Beat and the Pulse
The Choke
Hate Crime
The Villain
Shot the Water
The Noise
The Beast

In related news, very interestingly and super cool is that The knife are doing a workshop for girls only at Popkollo, what a shame it’s only in Sweden? It seems the push for the women to become the knob twiddlers is rising.

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