Austra's 'Habitat' Explores 'First Intimate Contact'
By Jerry Portwood
With last year's Olympia, Austra's second album, Katie Stelmanis provided a haunting summer soundtrack, and the song "Forgive Me" explored sexual and gender diversity. Now the Toronto-based singer-songwriter is back with "Habitat," a brand new four-track EP.
“'Habitat' is an old song that we've waited almost three years to release," Stelmanis explains. "It didn't seem to fit with the sounds of Feel it Break or Olympia, so we decided to finally put it out as a single along with 3 new instrumental tracks. There's a lot of live versions of the song online but people have always pressed us to make a proper recording, so we are especially excited to announce these limited-edition physical copies of the EP. It’s a Euro-style computer music experiment produced with love from me, Maya, and Dorian."
Matt Lambert, who directed the video for the single, says the it "explores the fragile and tender moments of anxiety and anticipation that lead up to first intimate contact." It includes young men and women engaging in erotic interludes, some of which seem to evoke dangerous potential and lifelong consequences.
Although she's known for pushing the boundaries of popular music, in a recent interview, Stelmanis mentioned how inspired other young female pop musicians have been:
"I have been so inspired by artists like Lorde, teenagers who are so much more comfortable in their own skin than I am. I come from a place where some dude in music actually told me that I didn’t have enough 'hetero sex appeal' to be a pro artist, and that really affected me way back when. It’s sometimes hard to see where I fit into the equation among so many female artists that double as fashion models, but having this new movement of women and teens who are championing a variety of bodies and flaws is really inspiring."
Stream the entire Habitat EP below: