Austra is a Canadian band led by singer and producer Katie Stelmanis. Their MASSIVE-featuring debut album ‘Feel it Break’ was shortlisted for the 2011 Polaris Music Prize, and included in year-end lists of many critics. Stelmanis wrote the majority of 2017’s ‘Future Politics on her own, again calling upon her arsenal of NI instruments and effects. She produced the album on the road with a minimal, laptop-based setup.
“I use the Komplete Kontrol keyboard, my laptop and an audio interface – I pretty much do everything with those three pieces,” explains Stelmanis.
“The technology that has empowered me most as a songwriter has to be the computer – I can do and access everything with it. Having millions of sounds available within seconds is really good for the way that I write, because when I have an idea, I have to get it out right away. I can’t spend two hours programing an analog synth, because I lose the idea. It’s really nice to have the flexibility to just flip through sounds quickly – you can always figure out the complexities of the production later on.”
In this short feature, shot in Berlin during the band’s recent tour, Stelmanis gives an intimate look into the evolution of her writing and production process over the past seven years, and reflects on the impact that technology has had on the band’s music.