Angelo De Augustine – Kaitlin

This quiet, gut-punch of a song has been on loop in my head since Angelo De Augustine released his quiet, gut-punch of a record, Tomb, a couple of weeks ago. If they weren’t so artfully constructed and so darn delightful, they’d be depressing listens.

Tomb cover art

According to De Augustine, Tomb is a break-up album that expanded to reflect on other disappointments and loss in his life. You immediately sense that nostalgia and process of looking backward on the first strummed chords of Kaitlin and then further when De Augustine’s hushed, breathy, multi-tracked vocals come in. The lyrics speak of love lost, regrets and resignation, and the simple-but-complicated reality of a broken heart.

Yet, despite all of that “weight,” De Augustine’s touch is light and the song *feels* delicate and airy. And, that goes for much of the rest of the album as well. Most often compared to Sufjan Stevens (whose record label De Augustine records on), I hear a lot of early Bon Iver in De Augustine’s songs — especially in his quiet, wispy melodies and treatment of his vocals.

Kaitlin is a wonderful song to get lost in, as is the entire record. I expect that Tomb will wind up on many “best album” lists as those start to be curated.

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Feature image by Jess Calleiro

Oh Pep! — 25

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Truth is, I could have picked any of the tracks from Australian duo Oh Pep!’s new record I Wasn’t Only Thinking About You… to feature here. It’s been on repeat for me since it came out two Fridays ago (October 26, 2018) and it is great, great, great from start to finish.

But, I chose to highlight 25 because it is just such a beautiful, compelling song. There’s just the right amount of ache to it and a recurring pulse that drives the track into and out of expansive choruses. There are the wonderful vocal harmonies of duo Pepita Emmerichs (mandolin and violin) and Olivia Hally (guitar) and the taut balance Oh Pep! strikes throughout this record between indie folk and indie pop — akin to groups like Lucius and Overcoats.

Ultimately, though, it’s Emmerichs’ strings that really do it for me on 25.  The song soars, swells, and arcs on the string lines. And, frankly, the string arrangements make the album for me; they add emotion and texture throughout.

Another awesome new discovery for me, a phenomenal track, and one more addition to my growing “top 2018 records” category.

Featured photo by Ebru Yildiz