This week's Sexy Song goes to Still Going's remix of Austra's "Beat and the Pulse".
Austra is a Canadian electronic music band from Toronto, Ontario. The band consists of Katie Stelmanis as vocals and keyboards, Maya postepski on drums, Dorain Wolf as bassist, keyboardist Ryan Wonsiak, and back-up vocals by Sari and Romy Lightman. Their debut album, Feel It Break, was released in 2011 and was shortlisted for Canada's Polaris Music Prize, but lost out to Arcade Fire's The Suburbs. Regardless, Austra's album was included in several year-end critics' lists.
This track, entitled "Beat and the Pulse", was their first single and is remixed here by NYC's Still Going. They're a duo made up of composer/producer Liv Spencer and producer Eric Duncan, who both have solid reputations as remixers. I think you should probably listen to the track first and then read what I have to say about it:
The track starts out with a deep bass beat layered over with a fast-paced snare, along with echoing synth sounds. It isn't until about a minute and a half into the track that you start to hear echoing female vocals. All these layers slowly build up until they develop a consistent pace by 2:30 with that steady, deep pulse. In come the lyrics at 2:45 with female vocals. Then at 3:23 the vocals burst out, strong and echoing. The track continues with such a succinct pace of build-ups and slow-downs that are perfectly coupled with the vocals, from talk-singing to loud echoing outbursts.
It's this pace that makes the track so sexy, because it has the rhythm of a sexual encounter. Even the name "Beat and the Pulse" is perfect, especially when reworked in this remix. A sexual encounter is all about foreplay and working up an appetite. The pace of the track has the consistent rhythm of a heart beat and the buildups are like the increase of someone's pulse. It's like you're making out with someone and everything gets heated mirrored by the moment of intensity that comes in her outburst of singing. Then, you both pause to catch your breath, but your hearts are still racing, just like after her singing, when the beat is still going, and continues when she's talk-singing. The deep beat continues and everything builds up again until her outburst of singing with "Feeeeel it break!". Phew! It's certainly a track to get you worked up.