The year's best new and emerging artists range across the musical spectrum from forward thinking R&B to classic soul, from a bevy of exciting new hip-hop talent to great new hopes for indie rock and Americana. 2011 shows that music is always pushing forward even as it dips into the past.
As a singer, Austra's Katie Stelmanis possesses an elusive, intangible, ineffable quality to her voice that you can't help but notice. If only the Toronto trio had as compelling a musical perspective to match it.
Katie Stelmanis spent her childhood at recital halls and chorale concerts – and aspired, at one point, to be an opera singer. A left turn in her late teens led her into Toronto’s punk scene. Her latest project, Austra, brings all her worlds together, combining punk’s DIY sensibility, classical music’s intricacies and the heady abandon of electro pop.