When somebody mentions Austrian music, most people’s minds usually jump to classical composers, not modern indie hits. Well, Karmic is here to change that perception. The Austrian-American band is releasing its groove-packed, inexplicably danceable debut EP This Is Karmic on May 31 and bringing a new movement of Euro-funk with it.
While the five-song project plays well as a collection, maintaining a fluid cadence as one track leads into the next, each of the songs on This Is Karmic possesses its own contagious pulse that will have you humming the hook to yourself long after you’ve turned off the music.
The album opener “Higher Self” has a plump, elastic low-end that is adorned with glittering synths across the higher registers. Guided by the steely, satisfyingly strident vocals of co-lead singers Laura Baruch and Kylee Katch, the track manifests itself as a fervid, heart-racing anthem.
However, if “Higher Self” is the adrenaline-charged intensity that a sprinter feels before a race, the following track “Wisdom Pie” is the warm, gooey high a cross country runner feels when they settle into a rhythm. Over a brew of laid-back drums and syrupy bass, the two singers preach, “You gotta get high with your mother/ She’ll give you a slice of that wisdom pie.” The steamy, strung-out funk groove is in stark contrast to the opening track, yet, somehow, the two fit together perfectly.
While the first two tracks on the album create an interesting contrast when paired back to back, Karmic also forges paradoxical harmony in the arrangements of individual songs. The fourth track on the project, “With You,” is built on breezy vocal leads and Karmic’s signature buttery groove that is the common thread throughout the EP. However, the band also utilizes a granular synthesizer that seems as though it would clash with the gentler elements of the piece. In reality, this synth has the same effect as sandpaper. If you lean into the grit, everything gets smoothed out.
True to its name, This is Karmic is an audacious declaration of the band’s eclectic pop-funk sound. See for yourself with an exclusive first listen of This is Karmic here: