Angelo de Augustine – Swim Inside The Moon – Album Review by Killian Laher
Angelo de Augustine is a 24 year-old American songwriter releasing his second album, Swim Inside The Moon. Listening to this, it’s a perfect distillation of Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and others with the addition of de Augustine’s falsetto vocals. His voice is fairly high-pitched and fragile, and may prove a barrier for some.
The album opens with the insistent guitar picking of Truly Gone which one could easily imagine featuring on an early Elliott Smith album. Gorgeous tracks like Haze and I’ll Wait For The Others combine the melodic sensibility of Nick Drake’s Bryter Layter with the spare, stripped-down arrangement of Pink Moon. Production is as unsparing as anything Smith did in his early years, with audible background hiss accompanying the fine, unadorned guitar melodies of More Than You Thought To Use and Crazy, Stoned and Gone. There’s not a weak track here. Fade is one of the more perfect tracks here, taking a decent helping of his influences but bringing it somewhere new, creating a fairly incredible sound for just one person recording alone. Final track I Hope That All Of Your Dreams Come True jazzes things up with a little piano, and overall the album feels perfectly formed, like a complete statement rather than a collection of songs, with not a note out of place. Like each of these songs could not exist without the other eight here.
It seems Angelo de Augustine is the latest in a long line of sensitive singer-songwriters, however this guy sounds every bit as timeless as his influences. These are simple, plaintive melodies which initially sound impossibly frail but gradually crawl (swim?) inside your brain to become indelible. The one thing I’ll say is it’s an extremely short album at 27 minutes which makes it even shorter than Nick Drake’s Pink Moon. But then perhaps you could have too much of a good thing. Seriously impressive.
1. Truly Gone
3. More Than You Thought To Use
4. Crazy, Stoned and Gone
6. On My Way Home
7. I’ll Wait For The Others
8. Dreaming of the Moon
9. I Hope That All Of Your Dreams Come True