Habitat - EP
The defining characteristic of chilly synth act Austra’s oeuvre is Katie Stelmanis’s operatic vocals; remove that from the mix and you can still tell what a force this band has become, as evidenced with new EP Habitat. Only the title track/lead single has her inimitable delivery, and just a passing similarity to the material from last year’s Olympia. It’s the subsequent three instrumental tracks that stand out from previous work though, and showcase the band’s ability for crafting cinematic pieces. Of the three, “Huluu” is the ultra-rhythmic knockout, a little less dour than the rest. The package is worthy of purchase if only to get a glimpse into Austra’s experimental side, which we will hopefully see more of on future releases.