We absolutely loved Angelo De Augustine's Swim Inside the Moon LP here at the towers and so are exited to hear this follow up in which label boss and all round quiet genius Sufjan Stevens guests. De Augustine's sound in fact isn't that far away from Steven's hushed balladry,lots of creaking acoustic guitars, quiet pianos and mournful songs of heartbreak. You know the score.
Vinyl LP £18.49 AKR138LP
LP on Asthmatic Kitty.
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CD £9.99 AKR138CD
CD on Asthmatic Kitty.
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Vinyl LP £18.49 AKR138LP-C2
Yellow coloured vinyl LP on Asthmatic Kitty.
What an incredible album Angelo DeAugustine's debut Swim Inside the Moon was. Imagine Sufjan Stevens as a small burrowing woodland creature, add in Iron & Wine's creaking woody folk and Nick Drake's autumnal beauty and you've pretty much got it.
Fast forward a couple of years and here is the inevitable (and inevitably not as good) follow up. On Swim Inside the Moon, DeAugustine was seemingly recording through a vacuum cleaner tube. Here he has the problem of how to sound unique with a more 'normal' production technique. The answer seems to be to sound rather like Elliott Smith on All to the Wind - a perky thing which seems happy to throw away his exquisite folky guitar stylings in lieu of jaunty McCartney ish piano stabs....and to employ a minimal electronic production style on I Could Be Wrong. All of which leads De Augustine's songs to haunt less and fail to hot in the exact same pit of the stomach as his debut did.
However, there are lovely moments scattered throughout. 'You Needed Love, I Needed You' has lovely folky picked guitar in spades and the best song here 'Tide' is utterly exquisite, tapping into the exact same 'Carrie & Lowell' mood that his debut did -guitars and pianos here wash together in a sumptuous swirl and his voice sits on top perfectly.
It's probably too much to ask for De Augustine to top or even equal his debut but tracks like 'Tide' make some of the other tracks even more frustrating than they already are. Lead track 'Time' for example show that De Augustine is heading right down a kind of Bon Iver rabbit hole of high pitched vocals, and unremarkable song structures (and what's with the whistling). Yet he does sometimes manage to tap into the lonely cabin folk that led us to think he was going to be one of the greats. Tomb is too much Justin Vernon, too little Sufjan Stevens and probably too little Angelo De Augustine but is worth it for those moments where he drags your heart and stomps it all over the floor.
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