I saw Canadian band Austra–who take their name from the Latvian goddess of light–play at Circolo degli Artisti in Rome back in April and they blew me away. Lead vocalist Katie Stelmanis trained as an opera singer from the age of ten and went on to sing for the Canadian Opera Company. At some point along the way she attended a punk rock show and decided she wanted to start her own band instead, and “make classical music with really fucked up, distorted crazy shit on there.”
Austra’s music is eerie synth-pop infused with bone chilling vocals. Their live show is not to be missed.