Angelo De Augustine Drops Live DTLA

Angelo De Augustine Drops Live DTLA
Angelo De Augustine Photo Credit: Paige Hochstatte

Angelo De Augustine’s has dropped his two-song rooftop live release, Live DTLA, now via Asthmatic Kitty Records. The double single arrives with two accompanying videos of the live rooftop performances, directed by Jessica Calleiro “Another Universe” is set against a glimmering urban sunset, while “The Ballad of Betty and Barney Hill” echoes through the quiet night of downtown Los Angeles. De Augustine is accompanied in the videos by musicians Sam Gendel and Gabe Noel.

The live double single revisits two favorites from De Augustine’s whimsical masterpiece, Toil and Trouble, that arrived earlier this year. The follow-up to 2021’s critically acclaimed collaboration with Sufjan Stevens, A Beginner’s Mind – and first solo effort since his 2019 breakthrough LP, Tomb – Toil and Trouble

Toil and Trouble has the Southern California artist return to the self-contained approach of his 2015 debut Spirals of Silence and 2017’s Swim Inside the Moon. De Augustine spent nearly three years working alone and exploring the vast expanse of his imagination, creating an all-enveloping work that exists according to its own quixotic logic, inhabiting a psychic landscape as sublimely mystifying as a fever dream or fairy tale. He wrote, arranged, recorded, produced, and mixed Toil and Trouble on his own, shaping the album’s ornately detailed sound by performing on 27 different instruments (including such oddities as a xylophone made of glass). In the midst of that highly experimental process, he endured an ephemeral but nightmarish period of otherworldly sensations and supernatural visions—an experience that briefly disrupted the album’s creation but in the end helped to enrich Toil and Trouble’s immense emotional depth.

“This album came from thinking about the madness of the world right now and how overwhelming that can be,” says De Augustine. “I used a sort of counter-world as a guide to try to gain some understanding of what’s actually going on here – I had to take myself out of reality in order to try to understand reality.”

At turns bewitching and devastating and ineffably lovely, the result is the most visionary work yet from a singular songwriter, revealing his profound capacity to alchemize pain into extraordinary beauty.


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