- 30 Jan 19
Stunning break-up album from LA singer and pal of Sufjan
On December 20, 2017, Angelo De Augustine found a letter in his mailbox that triggered a break-up. Five days later, on Christmas Day, he had written Tomb, his third album, in its entirety: talk about turning pain into something useful…
Tomb is also the first time the LA-based singer-songwriter has utilised a studio, his two previous outings being home-recorded. It also helped that he brought musical cohort and all-round genius Thomas Bartlett, of The Gloaming and Doveman fame, on board as producer, Bartlett’s gossamer touch perfectly augmenting these tales of heartbreak.
Mostly, it’s gently pastoral guitar and De Augustine’s falsetto vocal whispering in your ear, from the aching title track to the countrified sway of ‘Time’, and on to the confessional ‘You Needed Love, I Needed You’, where the resigned singer asks, “Did I give too much love to you?/ I’m sorry baby but it’s what I had to do”. It’s not a million miles away from De Augustine’s label boss and mentor, Sufjan Stevens, particularly on songs like the quietly angry ‘A Good Man’s Light’ or ‘All To The Wind’, the jauntiness of which belies its dark heart. The magnificent ‘I Could Be Wrong’ is built on childishly simple beats that beg to be listened to over and over again.
‘Kaitlin’ sees the singer addressing the source of his broken heart (“I hope you hear this song and you leave your old boyfriend/ Come back where you belong, in my arms”), while also slyly referencing the fact that his mother, Wendy Fraser, sang on ‘She’s Like The Wind’ from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Elsewhere, ‘Bird Has Flown’ finds the singer dealing with the fact that his father left home when he was just five, and the guilt he has carried since.
Amidst the emotional debris of a failed relationship, Angelo De Augustine has truly come of age, delivering a gorgeous break-up album to sit alongside Blood On The Tracks and The Boatman’s Call.