Austra Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC August 5

Austra Parc Jean-Drapeau, Montreal QC August 5
With their eerie soundscapes and Katie Stelmanis's otherworldly vocals, Toronto electro hippies Austra are built for darkly lit clubs; as it turns out, they're also a damn fine mid-afternoon festival act.

Playing to a soggy yet sun-scorched crowd, the six-piece's entrancing sound and rhythmic swaying encouraged unlikely crowd surfing. While three-piece harmonies are the band's bread and butter, drummer Maya Postepski was stellar throughout, particularly during a stormy take on "The Villain."

"Lose It" saw Stelmanis doing her best Kate Bush impression, her vocals climbing throughout. Similarly, a new track held the melody back, letting the rhythm section build tension before late-act keys provided catharsis. "Darken Her Horse" and its Cliff Martinez-style atmospherics, plus closer "Spellwork," became the biggest highlights, providing a stirring end to a solid show.