Austra

Formed 2009.

Biography

Austra is a Canadian electronic music band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 2009. The band consists of Katie Stelmanis (vocals, keyboards), her former Galaxy bandmate Maya Postepski (drums) and former Spiral Beach bassist Dorian Wolf. They played a number of early shows under the name Private Life before learning that another band was already using the name; they subsequently named the band after Stelmanis' middle name Austra, which is also the name of the goddess of light in Latvian mythology. Austra used to include twin backing singers Sari and Romy Lightman of Tasseomancy. Keyboardist Ryan Wonsiak of Ze and the Boyfriends makes up the quartet.

Austra's debut album Feel It Break was released on May 17, 2011 by Paper Bag Records. On July 6, 2011, the album was shortlisted for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, but lost out to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. Feel It Break was included on several year-end critics' lists; notably, both the Toronto Star and New York named it the best album of 2011, with the former calling it "an outright stunner". Stereogum named Austra a Band to Watch on March 14, 2011.

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BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Feel It Break

    Feel It Break 2011

    Reviewed by Alix Buscovic
    As melodic as it is melodramatic, the Canadians’ debut LP is a dark-hearted triumph.
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