Ian summed it up pretty well I’ll let him do the talking. Thanks buddy.
“So, Austra’s newest album, Olympia, first released from Canada’s Paper Bag Records in an ‘Icy Blue’ Double 180-gram special edition vinyl, sold-out pretty quickly (prior to the LP even dropping on June 18, in fact). So, Paper Bag is doing a second special edition pressing, the variant this time being ‘Blue Haze.’ (The only picture released thus far is attached and, apologies, the quality isn’t great.) The difference? The first special edition pressing (Icy) looks like a gothy take on tie-dye, while the second (Haze), which their spokesperson Brooke Morgan mentioned will be an edition of only 300 and is due out in August, looks to be decidedly more inspired by the album’s cover art–a cloudy, dreamlike combo of blue-and-white wax.
BLUE HAZE 2ND VINYL PRESSING AVAILABLE IN AUGUST 2013
Olympia is an album of transformation. Though it has only been two years since Austra's 2010 debut Feel It Break, it presents a quantum evolution in the Toronto-based bandâs sound, structure and style.
After three years of non-stop international touring with the likes of the XX, Grimes and the Gossip, when it came time to record Olympia, Austra had evolved into a complex collaborative effort between its six members. âPreviously, 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 inâ 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" (stream now). "Home" expresses the anxieties of waiting up all night for a lover to return. âI was mad and upset and the song just wrote itself,â says the singer. The album touches on a range of sentiments that stem from a relationship ending, a relationship beginning, and friends' struggles with addiction and motivation. Despite the sometimes dark lyrics written in collaboration with band member Sari Lightman, Olympia is bubbly and buoyantâ fundamentally a dance record, which Stelmanis says was the band's aim all along. âWe are really into dense harmonies and big beautiful melodies, but I also love techno and dance music. I wanted to bring those elements together.â
Though Olympia is filled with electronic and synthetic sounds that reference everything from Trax Records classic cuts to Yazooâs Upstairs At Ericâs, itâs free of programming and loops. Everything was played live by the band in the studio and all of the percussion including a wild set up of marimbas and congas is drummer Maya Postepski. âMaya played a huge role in the production of the album,â says Stelmanis, who has been playing with the drummer for eight years since their previous band, Galaxy. âThere is a major percussive element running through every song,â Stelmanis laughs, âthis is the album where we discovered rhythm.â
The album was produced by Austra with additional production by Mike Haliechuk, vocal production by Damian Taylor (Bjork, the Killers), engineered by Bill Skibbe and Leon Taheny and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele,Erasure, Hot Chip).
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