Friday 15 November 2013


Described as two souls seeking and finding forgiveness in each other, this new video for 'Forgive Me' by Canadian electropop band Austra depicts the shady nightlife of a park. I gotta say, I know that some parks ARE like this or at least I've heard about it. I've never been in a park like that - well, clearly not at the right (or wrong?) time. In any case, it's a strange choice this track which feels a lot more personal than these anonymous sex acts but I suppose forgiveness, or the desire to be forgiven, is not always directed at one person or thing: some people feel like they need the world itself to forgive them. They need a general kind of absolution for their own guilt. Maybe?

Instantly, this track is wholly danceable, featuring a pacing 4/4 beat with meaty snare, occasional hi-hats and woodblock decoration, evoking a disco beat. bass guitar fragments underpin the beat, yet there's a darkness here with rumbles of twisted synth bass crunching up above the clicking percussion and simpering organs that give this a decidedly plaintive feel. Sharp, tormented strings make a brief appearance, summoning a sadness alongside a rising tide of gooey bass. Of course, by its very title this track is apologetic and its not only illustrated by the music but by the vocals too.

Especially by the vocals. Whether they are deliciously layered or singing solo, it's clear that the voice - which is the voice of lead singer Katie Stelmanis - can not only carry a note but also carry emotion, too. Her distinct lilt first makes itself known in the first few seconds of the song, where it trembles with a frustration inherent in the pleading lyrics: "What do I have to do to make you forgive me?" It echoes with guilt yet there's a smootheness there, aimed at placating whomever the lyrics are aimed at. 'Forgive Me' stands as a progression within electropop, fusing a minimalist disco sensibility with gifted vocals for the creation of a thoughtful or reflective atmosphere on the dancefloor.

This comes from Austra's Summer-released second album Olympia and it'll be released as a single on 25th November.

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