37 West Pine Street
Orlando, FL, 32801
Named for the Latvian goddess of light, Toronto’s Austra feature singer/keyboardist Katie Stelmanis, drummer Maya Postepski, and bassist Damian Wolf. Stelmanis is a classically trained vocalist and pianist who joined the Canadian Children’s Opera at age ten and intended on pursuing a career in classical music before falling in love with punk, industrial, and electronic music. In 2008 she released the solo album Join Us, and was also a member of the band Galaxy with Postepski. When that group disbanded, the pair joined forces with Wolf, a former member of Spiral Beach, and initially called themselves Private Life, but switched to Austra after discovering another band with that name. Their debut single, The Beat and the Pulse, arrived in early 2011, and their full-length debut, Feel It Break (most of which was recorded in Stelmanis’ home studio and mixed by Damian Taylor), arrived in May of that year on Domino Records.
Grimes is weird pop influenced by styles such as R&B, Industrial, goth, hip hop and Western medieval organum. She is noted for simple but strong percussion, vocal virtuosity, and addictive melodies. Despite having little acquaintance with music before the age of 18, Grimes (born 1988) has overcome this barrier and used it to her advantage, exploding onto the music scene with a sound that is that is far different from that of her peers, and extremely broad in it’s references (Mariah Carey, Salem, Cocteau Twins, Gang Gang Dance, The Smiths, Prince). And yet, while all Grimes songs are different and genre-bending, there is a strong sound that is fully her own, characterized primarily by her chameleon-like voice.
She cannot read music and has no understanding of theory or notation, so her attempts to imitate often fail. Rather, the result is particularly unique, strangely beautiful, sometimes scary, frequently melancholic and catchy as hell.