Angelo de Augustine – Spirals of Silence


Rating: ★★★★ ·

Angelo de Augustine is sure to be a name everyone whispers behind your back for a few years.  His work is so unassuming that it’s likely to be skipped over by many, to their detriment, as it’s a listen that people will praise from the darkened corners of coffee shops, spreading the gospel beyond until everyone scours Discogs in search for a copy of Spirals of Silence.

It’s going to be difficult for people to look beyond the Elliot Smith references, especially after listening to the opening two tracks, “Old Hope” and “Collections.” Quiet whispers in the vocal quality and even the sound of the strings being plucked are definitely similar, but there’s still some tiny nuances that allow Angelo to find a path all his own.  That being said, if you’re an Elliot fan, then you should find yourself listening to “Collections.”

An instance where I see de Augustine making his own path on Spirals of Silence if on “The Beginning and the End.”  There’s a fragility to the vocal for sure, but there’s also this careful bit of intricate work filling in the empty space beneath the guitar lines.  Sometimes it’s touches of bells or strings, but it comes off sounding more like a field recording as opposed to an ode to the Beetles. It’s those moments that provide a certain level of intimacy that we don’t always find in our musicians, and it seems to be on every track Angelo has left us with.  If you need another example of such quality, then “Tucked in at Home” is another place you’ll find this insight into the soul of the musician. I love the light little “do do do” moments that fill in near the middle of the track; it’s playful yet wholly personal.

I’m still finding myself entranced with “You Open to the Idea.”  It was the first track I experienced from Spirals of Silence, and thus, it’s been the one I’m particularly fond of.  I love the way Angelo rises and falls in pitch and tone within the track; it also never hurts to have a really faint bit of tinkering piano in the far off distance of the song. Still, I encourage you to do your own exploration of the record, as each time I spin it, I find something different and new lurking in the background, or even in front of my face.  It’s a record that’ll make you lost, looking for the key to its secrets, and in the end, it’s just a nice bit of songwriting. Cheers to that, and Angelo de Augustine.