Domino Records is happy to announce the forthcoming release of Olympia, the new album from Austra, out June 18th.
Olympia is an album of transformation. Though it has only been 2 years since Austra’s 2010 debut Feel It Break, it presents a quantum evolution in the Toronto-based band’s sound, structure & style.
After 3 years of non-stop international touring with the likes of The xx, Grimes + the Gossip, when it came time to record Olympia, Austra had evolved into a complex collaborative effort between its 6 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.” “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, & friends’ struggles with addiction + motivation. Despite the sometimes dark lyrics written in collaboration with band member Sari Lightman, Olympia is bubbly & 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 + synthetic sounds that reference everything from Trax Record classic cuts to Yazoo’s Upstairs At Eric’s, it’s free of programming & loops. Everything was played live by the band in the studio & all of the percussion including a wild set up of marimbas + congas was performed by drummer Maya Postepski. “Maya played a huge role in the production of the album,” says Stelmanis, who has been playing with the drummer for eight years since their previous band, Galaxy. “There is a major percussive element running through every song,” Stelmanis laughs, “this is the album where we discovered rhythm.”
Upcoming live dates:
03.13 Austin, TX - Vice Land (Vice SXSW)
03.14 Austin, TX - Hype Hotel (Hype Machine SXSW)
03.15 Austin, TX - The Mohawk (Windish SXSW)
03.16 Austin, TX - Elysium (Moog SXSW)
03.16 Austin, TX - Old Emo’s (Brooklynvegan SXSW)
06.02 Dublin, IE - Fobidden Fruit
06.06 Zurich, SE - Plaza
06.07 Luzerne, SE - Sudpol
06.08 Yverdon-les Bains, SE - L’Amalgame
06.10 Amsterdam, NL - Bitterzoet
06.12 Paris, FR - Le Nouveau Casino
06.14 Berlin, DE - Lido
06.17 London, UK - Hoxton Bar Grill
06.20 Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg
06.23 Los Angeles, LA - Troubadour
06.26 San Francisco, CA - The Independent