Austra - 'Olympia'
An album to dance, not cry, to.
7 / 10
The propulsive doom-disco of album opener ‘What We Done’; the ’80s electro funk of ‘Painful Like’; the ’90s Chicago house jam of ‘Annie (Oh Muse, You)’: yup, Canadian six-piece Austra’s second album ‘Olympia’ is a tender love letter to any music that’s crammed sweaty bodies onto heaving dancefloors over the years. It’s a much more complicated affair than their 2011 album ‘Feel It Break’, both emotionally and instrumentally. Katie Stelmanis’ macabre Enya operatics are bolstered by deft, intricate production worthy of The Knife on ‘We Become’ and the Warpaint-evoking ‘Fire’. On the latter you even get a choral intro that breaks into a glorious, charging synth assault complete with unexpected windchimes and woodwind. The band take on a more sombre, reflective mode on ‘Home’, with its bruised lyrics about a lover who doesn’t come, and on ‘I Don’t Care (I’m A Man)’ with its dark, cut-throat tale of “quiet indoor fighting”. But ultimately this is an album to dance, not cry, to.
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