Austra, Diana, Valis | Lincoln Hall | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Austra, Diana, Valis 18+ Recommended Soundboard Image

When: Sat., Aug. 31, 9 p.m. 2013

On their debut album, 2011’s Feel It Break, Toronto indie-pop trio Austra relied on the gorgeous, sirenlike singing of front woman Katie Stelmanis to spin gold out of stark, gloomy electronic pop influenced by 80s EBM and electro-industrial music (think Pretty Hate Machine and early Ministry). On this year’s Olympia (Domino) they tone down the overwhelming pulse of Feel It Break in favor of lighter, sparser beats ripped from 80s clubland, making room for elegant symphonic touches—yawning horns, weeping strings, and what sounds like twinkling wind chimes. Austra are at their best when Stelmanis’s warbling voice is the centerpiece. On “Home,” for example, the restrained backing tracks—minimalist percussion, pinging piano, wafting flutes, and a nimble, subtly funky bass melody—propel her but stay out of her way as she explores the highest reaches of her prodigious range. —Leor Galil Diana and Valis open.

Price: $18, $15 in advance

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