Olympia, which was released earlier this year is Austra’s latest effort, and they’re about to embark on the North American portion of a two month world tour to support the new effort – and it includes a September 22nd stop at Webster Hall, and ends with a special Hollywood Bowl show, where they’ll open for the xx, and Chromatics on September 29th. But before their tour, they’ll be releasing the “Painful Like” Remixes, and it’ll include remixes by the likes of XXXY.
However, I want to concentrate on the album version of “Painful Like” which has a propulsive, throbbing beat which reveals a plaintive urgency, just beneath icy synths. Lyrically, the song deals with the disillusionment of growing up gay in a small town, the sort of a small town in which everyone knows your businesses and sees the narrator as the weird one. That is until the narrator finds solace in the arms of a lover. And the lyrics are sung with a devastating earnestness and sincerity that’s visceral.
The video which was produced by production troupe Exploding Motor Car, employs the use of handmade puppets and effects, which are both playful and surreal – and it’s a visual delight. In particular check out the sequence where the costumed aliens are rollerblading in the dark. Whoa.