Austra Wrongbar, Toronto ON, March 10

Austra Wrongbar, Toronto ON, March 10
No longer a solo artist, Toronto singer Katie Stelmanis is now one third of gothic electronic act Austra, and she's never sounded better. On stage between former Ghost Bees twins and expert harmonizers Sari and Romy Lightman, Stelmanis coolly belted out haunting melodies while her new band throbbed sensuously around her, inciting the crowd, without a word said, to do the same. Stelmanis's vocals were characteristically excellent, but it was her new surroundings that really made Austra the aural and visual spectacle it was at Wrongbar. The band played almost every part of their songs live -- a feat not often attempted by electronic acts. They were held tightly together by the deceptively complex drumming of their bespectacled percussionist, as Austra rolled through a well-received set of songs from their forthcoming LP. It may have been first single "Beat and the Pulse" that provided the band's climax, but if Austra get the attention they deserve, it won't be for long.