Austra announce their biggest headline show to date in London's Koko on Tuesday 12th November, after selling out their Hoxton show in less than 24 hours. The Olympia, the second album from Austra, will be released on June 17th in the UK. Olympia is an album of transformation. Though it has only been two years since their 2010 debut Feel It Break, it presents a quantum evolution in the Toronto-based band’s sound, structure and style.
After three years of non-stop international touring with the likes of the XX and the Gossip, when it came time to record Olympia, Austra had evolved into a complex collaborative effort between its six members. “Previously, I would flesh out songs before I brought them to the band, but this time I left them bare and let the others fill them in” explains Katie Stelmanis, the principal songwriter/vocalist.
Olympia is also the first confessional record for Stelmanis as evidenced by the heartfelt lyrics of piano driven lead single "Home" (stream now). "Home" expresses the anxieties of waiting up all night for a lover to return. “I was mad and upset and the song just wrote itself,” says the singer. The album touches on a range of sentiments that stem from a relationship ending, a relationship beginning, and friends' struggles with addiction and motivation. Despite the sometimes dark lyrics written in collaboration with band member Sari Lightman, Olympia is bubbly and buoyant— fundamentally a dance record, which Stelmanis says was the band's aim all along. “We are really into dense harmonies and big beautiful melodies, but I also love techno and dance music. I wanted to bring those elements together.”
Though Olympia is filled with electronic and synthetic sounds that reference everything from Trax Record classic cuts to Yazoo’s Upstairs At Eric’s, it’s free of programming and loops. Everything was played live by the band in the studio and all of the percussion including a wild set up of marimbas and congas was performed by drummer Maya Postepski.
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