An­gelo De Au­gus­tine

Rec­om­mended this month: a new Suf­jan Stevens, live and di­rect from an LA bath­tub!

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An­gelo De Au­gus­tine’s ear­li­est mem­o­ries in­volve ac­com­pa­ny­ing his par­ents to work, which in prac­tice meant hang­ing out in record­ing stu­dios. His fa­ther, Tony, is a ses­sion drum­mer; his mother, Wendy Fraser, a singer. They split when De Au­gus­tine was four, at which point Fraser be­came her son’s pri­mary source of mu­si­cal ed­u­ca­tion.

“She was a big in­flu­ence for me,” says the soft­spo­ken 24-year-old from his home in lA. “She mostly sang back up for lots of artists, but she also sang ‘She’s like The Wind’, with Pa­trick Swayze, for the Dirty Danc­ing sound­track. You can hear her at the end, and she’s in the video. That was her 15 min­utes of fame, I guess, but she wrote her own songs pretty much my whole life. That was the main mu­sic I heard.”

The im­pact of ’80s power bal­lads on De Au­gus­tine’s own mu­sic is, as yet, hard to dis­cern. His folk­ish sound more closely re­sem­bles the likes of el­liott Smith, José gonzález and his friend, Suf­jan Stevens, whose Asth­matic Kitty la­bel are re­leas­ing De Au­gus­tine's sec­ond al­bum, Swim

Inside The Moon.

As a kid, De Au­gus­tine was “ad­dicted to soc­cer. Then, when I was 14, I got a guitar from one of mum’s friends, and I just started writ­ing songs. It was like magic, I didn’t re­ally know what I was do­ing. Fast for­ward a few years, and I was work­ing with other peo­ple, pro­duc­ers who were in­ter­ested in my mu­sic, but I wasn’t happy with how that turned out. It was a cou­ple of things. I don’t like peo­ple to be around when I’m record­ing, un­less it’s some­one I trust. Also, I wasn’t ready with ma­te­rial I re­ally be­lieved in. It takes a while to develop as an artist.”

Af­ter those false starts, his cre­ative break­through came at 21, when he started mak­ing home record­ings on an old reel-to-reel tape ma­chine. The re­sults be­came his first al­bum, Spi­rals Of Si­lence, re­leased in 2014. The fol­low-up,

Swim Inside The Moon, is another qui­etly be­witch­ing col­lec­tion of sweetly skewed pop­folk, dom­i­nated by De Au­gus­tine’s in­tri­cate acous­tic guitar fig­ures and whis­pered vo­cals. “I recorded this record in the bath tub,” he says. “I thought that sound was re­ally in­ter­est­ing. You can ex­per­i­ment with more sounds in a house, be­cause it’s not a per­fect room, there’s lots of ec­cen­tric­i­ties. Also, I have so much more time, I’m not on the stu­dio clock. And it’s nice. I don’t like to leave my house that much!” He’d al­ready recorded Swim Inside

The Moon when he en­coun­tered Stevens. “I met him when I was work­ing at a record­ing stu­dio in new York. We all lis­tened to the record in its en­tirety, and he al­luded to the pos­si­bil­ity of it hav­ing a home with Asth­matic Kitty. A few months later I re­ceived an email say­ing they’d love to put it out. I trust him. He’s given me a lot of en­cour­age­ment and sup­port, and I can’t say enough good things about Asth­matic Kitty. They give me com­plete cre­ative free­dom, and I al­ready know in this in­dus­try that’s very rare.” Swim Inside The Moon is re­leased Au­gust 18 on Asth­matic Kitty

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