It's been a while since we heard anything substantial from the Canadian indietronica sextet Austra. That's probably because they've been hard at work touring with The xx and Grimes, collaborating with people like Hervé and recording the follow up to the debut Feel It Break, Olympia. Their first outing proved that there were serious synthpop chops available - the quivering voice of Katie Stelmanis became synonymous with emotionally wrought electro-pop offerings, with cuts like 'Lose It' yanking heartstrings and forcing movement. For LP numero dos, they mine that latter vein thoroughly; although it's still sodden with feelings, this is an album for the dancefloor first and foremost.

'Reconcile' twinkles with synth glory, and starstruck arpeggios saunter above rumbles of funk bass. There are shards of icy-cool keys, and Stelmanis' vocals tremor, as always, she's on the verge of shattering glass with her vibrato. There's triumphant brass and percussive clicks. There's a similarity to Florence + The Machine, sans harp. 'Home' almost recalls Kate Bush - booming piano chords and trembling vocals pirouette with gorgeous melodies; however the Bush comparisons fizzle out rapidly when the techno seeps into the fray and bass womps begin to trip and trickle as a ratatat beat pounds hollowly. There's even a hip-hop woodwind section.

The operatically trained Stelmanis has already told of the record being far more intimate and collaborative. She's spoken in recent interviews of her bandmates assisting in the "fleshing out of ideas" - and instead of one person working tirelessly on the ideas, everyone can lend a hand. The result is a record stuffed with pop fare like 'We Become' or 'Forgive Me' - though it's an album more intimate lyrically than ever before; it's almost as if Stelmanis' focus has shifted towards spilling her guts via the verbal arts in lieu of controlling the sound. The intensity of her vocals, coupled with the personal words rekindle memories of Zola Jesus (especially on 'Sleep'), though as soon as the dance synths strut over it's quite clear they're not alike in many more ways.

"You changed my life for the best/ the sun is cold and dark as night, but I remember what you said," sings a breathless Stelmanis in the opening of 'You Changed My Life'. There's a mechanical ostinato that ramps up after her almost a cappella opening, and gradually more and more synths edge towards the central rhythm; all the parts weave together but never reach a climax, instead opting to simply fade away. 'Hurt Me Now' features the damaged organs and artificial choirs of a robo-hymn. It's brimming with pop hooks and synth hugeness that constantly seems to be heading towards a dubstep drop which never arrives.

Olympia is a marked evolution in calibre of sound from Feel It Break (which was excellent in a different way). Austra have soared down Pop Alley, pilfering earworms and massive choruses that are then slotted into their own songs, and though it's more intimate, it never once feels like it. You only realise the gravitas of the situation when you stop to listen to the words, which isn't an instant reaction to the album, given the vast breadth of radio-friendly/dancefloor bound cuts available. Olympia is a release full of beautiful, untarnished music that's bound to have a hand in propelling them into the stratosphere.