Genuine in All Aspects
Swim Inside The Moon is Angelo De Augustine’s second full-length album. Although he is relatively new to the music scene, the nine tracks on the album fully encapture his sound and vibe.
After touring for his first album, Spirals of Silence, De Augustine caught a bad case of whooping cough and was left without his singing voice for months. During this time, he put his soul and energy into songwriting. After regaining his voice, he sought out to record. Despite previously recording in professional studios, De Augustine found that the setting did not reflect his artistic vision, and he ultimately decided to use his home bathroom as his studio. On his own, he set up his microphone on his bathroom wall, sat on the edge of his bathtub with his guitar, played and sang.
Each song is simple, natural and organic. Listeners will not be distracted by drum beats or background vocals. In fact, De Augustine’s vocals alone are soft and almost drowned out by the music at times. His sound is very stripped-down, but this is not to be confused with watered-down. The bare nature of this album is refreshing. Each song features De Augustine’s vocals, his guitar and not much else. Some songs feature his mother’s piano, but each song is left gracefully simple and is not manipulated extensively. One can still hear feedback such as the echoing of the guitar strums against the bathroom walls, leaving an organic feeling such as listening to records spin and crackle on a turntable. The fact that it was recorded and produced at home is obvious, and this allows listeners to feel at home while listening.
The album opens with “Truly Gone,” a perfect introduction. De Augustine really allows his voice to act as backup to his instruments, and the song’s ethereal softness places listeners into a dreamlike state before continuing on. “Haze” is slightly more upbeat and complex, and De Augustine’s vocal range shines. “More Than You Thought to Use” features a subtle synthesizer in the background, but the guitar is the true star of the song, often sounding as gentle and delicate as a harp. The sound of the album slowly ramps up with songs such as “Crazy, Stoned, and Gone,” “Fade,” and “Dreaming Of The Moon.” The final track, “I Hope That All Of Your Dreams Come True,” slows back down to the dainty sound present at the beginning of the album before quietly fading to nothing. Although a little rough around the edges at times, Swim Inside The Moon’s unpolished nature gives the songs character.
Whether De Augustine’s sound is unique enough to stand out in the music industry is for listeners to decide independently. However, all can probably agree that Swim Inside the Moon’s natural ambience is refreshing and that De Augustine knows who he is as an artist.