Toil and Trouble
Angelo De Augustine
The process of creating something in a vacuum must be unwieldy. The fact that certain artists, working alone, can manage to craft some amazing work is a feat that many of us should look to as an extremely special thing. On his first solo effort since 2017’s Tomb, Angelo De Augustine has done just that.
His new and fourth album, Toil and Trouble out now everywhere via Asthmatic Kitty, is an almost overwhelming piece of beauty and thoughtfulness. Inspired, if you will, by what De Augustine calls the madness of the world and how overwhelming that can be, the fantastic singer, songwriter and producer has crafted a beautiful response to our universal strife. The album is ornately detailed, rich in beauty and scope and one that will leave you reeling hours after you’ve listened.
The Southern California based De Augustine took an highly experimental approach to the recording of the new album. Working exclusively with 27 different instruments, including oddities such as a xylophone made of glass, he threw himself into the process and self imposed solitude. The outcome touches on the work of such mainstays as Elliott Smith, Nico and Cat Stevens. Right from the get go with the subtle beauty of opener “Home Town” with its evocative, gently plucked guitars, highlighting De Augustine’s gently powerful falsetto, you know you are about to experience something special. From there we are invited on this special journey with De Augustine guiding us through the spectrum of highs and lows, punctuated with beauty and despair. “Healing Waters” is just this. A moments break with the sounds of waves lapping against the shore. Album highlight “I Don’t Want To Live, I Don’t Want To Die” is the crown jewel in this collection. De Augustine’s voice is perfectly showcased with cascading harmonies and an absolutely goosebump inducing vocal melody. It’s quite simple. His voice alone against punctuating synths but in this simplicity lies absolute beauty.
It’s rare these days to hear such a complete and complex work entirely brought to you by a single and singular artist. Angelo De Augustine has crafted such an intensely personal and beautiful thing here that it’s amazing that it is able to feel so universal. His attention to detail and his ability to be absolutely open and honest in his work is as commendable as it is beautiful. This is an artist not to be overlooked and a collection of music that will hopefully find its way into the hearts of an audience.
Order Toil and Trouble by Angelo De Augustine HERE
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