Who Needs 5 Stars When You Have Vilanova

Yesterday we arrived in Barcelona to play a festival. We were picked up from the airport by two lovely men who bellowed and bragged about how lovely our hotel was going to be, how it was seconds from the beach and very glamourous. Upon arriving at this glamorous hotel we waltzed by the five stars on the wall feeling satisfied and vindicated for all our years of hard-assed work and sat ourselves down on the plush, leather sofas in the lobby. Our excellent tour manager left to retrieve our room keys and returned 15 minutes later with some news that was unexpected but not entirely impossible to believe: this hotel was not ours. We called the transport¬† who apologized profusely claiming they didn’t realize there was more than one hotel for the bands playing the festival, and took us on a 15 minute ride to a different town, on a different road for which glamorous might be the least-appropriate description. He laughed as we pulled up to a crooked hostel and dumped our 17 pieces of luggage on to the street.

Needless to say, we had hit a slump. Our egos had been overflowed with resort amenities and was now being rapidly deflated by bleach, rat poo and mould. It does get better, though.

We ended up in the town of Vilanova. We enjoyed a huge Spanish feast at a local spot for 8 euros and then tread to another beach, coming upon a blank face carved into a piece of stone on the way down. By the water the sound of smooth techno drew us forth to a sheltered cabana serving wine and tiki lights right on the sand and seconds from the waves. I took off my shoes and wet my toes in the dark waves and felt the sand disappear from underneath my feet each time they pulled back. It was quiet, and it was cheap. And so, I decided that 5 star hotels feel nice, but then you have to pay for a 5 star meal, sit beside a 5 star busy pool deck (while the ocean is steps away), co-exist with people who can actually afford to pay for a 5 star room (!!!), and usually you have to pay for internet. So fuck 5 star accommodations. You shouldn’t have to pay a fortune to enjoy a place as magical as Barcelona, and in fact it’s probably a lot more fun if you don’t.

New Video for HULLUU premieres today on VogueItalia.com

The video was directed by artist Zeesy Powers (www.zeesypowers.com) and was performed and choreographed by Emily Law, loosely referencing waacking and house dance styles.


Emily and Zeesy are both old friends, it was really good to work with them on this project. Before I started performing my own music live I used to make soundtracks for Zeesy’s performance art pieces like this one:


She actually was the one who forced me to start playing live at all. Thanks Zeesy!

We are playing in Amsterdam!

Just announced!! A headlining gig in Amsterdam with Cheaters and Tears + Marble

Get Tickets: http://www.paradiso.nl/web/Agenda-Item/Austra-1.htm


Today is the day we release the Habitat EP

Let me tell you a little bit about this release. Habitat is a pretty typical austra song in that its made up of synths, drums and some big woman vocals. The other three tunes are more different than anything we’ve released before because we decided to remove a key component of our sound: my voice. And this doesn’t mean that I’m gonna stop writing music with vocals, but it is a good chance for you to ingest our sound without the epic distraction that tends to oversahdow some of our more sublte ideas. And so, here are some short explanations about what we were thinking/feeling when these songs were written, I certainly hope you enjoy them:

1. Habitat

Most have you have heard Habitat already cause its an old song. However, it had not been properly recorded until now. Actually, it was recorded, but we kept changing it and remixing it and adding parts and taking them away. After we released Olympia a LOT of people seemed kinda pissed it wasn’t on the record so we decided to give it its very own EP. We hired Rusty Santos to re-mix (as opposed to remix) the track, and he added the flavour we had been looking for all this time. If Olympia was an adventure of abandoning computers, this release is about loving them whole. We erased the real drum kits and the guitar bass from the pro-tools sessions and went entirely electronika once again.

2. Doepfer

Maya wrote Doepfer. Originally we were just going to release Habitat and Hulluu but then out of nowhere Maya presented this track. I love anything that involves filtering an analogue sequence so I was easily charmed. My favorite thing though, is the melody in the bass line. Follow the path it creates and this song become something more than a repetitive beat. There is a story to be told of a hopeful sadness marred by confusion and disorder.

3. Bass Drum Dance

I have always loved the idea of writing music for films. I used to do it when I was younger, as well as writing songs for my friends that were performance artists and dancers. This song to me feels like it should be on a screen. Its about creating sonic textures, the rise and fall and variation of the simple “violin,” and finally the space between near the end of the track. Bass Drum Dance is intended to colour a room and manipulate a feeling. It is the opposite of anthemic: the climax happens when everything is quiet.

4. Hulluu

I don’t know why I don’t write more music like this. Its so refreshing to abandon the idea that everything you do has to be anthemic. The simplicity of this track is a sound and a beat. Sometimes these two things come together so easily, and within moments you have a song. At one point I tried to sing on this track but it sounded dumb.. unless I become a rapper (album 3???) I don’t think its for me. Actually I guess the whisper vocals are kinda like me rapping… I guess when I try to make rhythm with words I just turn into a warlock.

The entire HABITAT EP is now streaming on our fav site, Rookiemag.com!


Also features a great interview with moi (katie) all about the EP.

photo by annie wolf

photo by annie wolf

photo by annie wolf

photo by annie wolf

Habitat EP

The Habitat EP has been getting nice reviews! Its cool to see that people are getting what we were trying to do with this release.. The b-sides are pretty weird/experimental tracks but it looks they are being embraced which is good news for the future : ) :)



None of Dem

We covered the Robyn/Royksopp track “None of Dem” a few years ago for triple J :)

snake eyes foto @misskateyoung

snake eyes foto @misskateyoung