Listen to Austra’s second album Olympia right here courtesy of Deezer.
Austra’s debut album Feel It Break, released two years ago was a fine debut of live electronic music with gothic touches, defined by Katie Stelmanis’ yearning operatic vocals and songs which had clear house music influences with its synth sounds which were often pitched against sparkling melodies in a higher register.
Second album Olympia has a much more nuanced, deeper feel. Stelmanis’ lyrics are more personal overall; drawn directly from experience rather than evoking the siren-call pedestal style of the first album. On Olympia she addresses her friends directly: ‘Sleep’ has her confessing to someone “you’ve never known me / I’ve never known you.” On ‘Home’ she addresses a lover who doesn’t return to her bed on a night out “What is it that keeps you there? / Keeping you occupied, from my heart.” On the title track she pleads “don’t hurt me now”. The lyrics on the album were largely written in collaboration with backing vocalist Sari Lightman.
The music is a more collaborative affair. All six band members, after three years of touring live, participated in the recording process. There is no studio programming, all music is played live while drummer Maya Postepski’s drums and percussion is more detailed taking in marimbas, congos and bells. That precision can be throughout in the airy arrangements of the band. Austra’s beat and pulse is ever present.
Olympia will be available on CD,LP, and digitally on June 14th (Ireland), June 17 (UK) / June 18 (US) on Domino.
Olympia Track listing
1. What We Done?
2. Forgive Me
3. Painful Like
7. I Don’t Care (I’m a Man)
8. We Become
10. Annie (Oh muse, you)
11. You Changed My Life
12. Hurt Me Now