A gentle-voiced indie folk singer/songwriter in the vein of Elliott Smith and Sufjan Stevens, Angelo De Augustine earned acclaim for his 2014 self-released debut, Spirals of Silence, which he recorded to analog tape in his bathroom. Signing with Asthmatic Kitty Records in 2017, he found an international audience with his follow-up, Swim Inside the Moon, and his emotionally raw 2019 album Tomb.
A native of Thousand Oaks, California, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, De Augustine's parents were both musicians, though his father's departure at the age of five initially turned him away from pursuing music. His teenage interests focused instead on sports, and his skill as a soccer player eventually brought him to the international circuit before an injury derailed his athletic career. He was given a guitar by a family friend and quickly took to songwriting. Writing and singing in a gentle acoustic folk style reminiscent of artists like Elliott Smith and Nick Drake, he schooled himself in home recording and settled on an analog reel-to-reel machine which he rigged up in his bathroom for its acoustic effects. This was the lo-fi set-up De Augustine used to record his debut album, Spirals of Silence, which he self-released in 2014. His hushed and deeply emotional songwriting earned praise from several influential blogs and he soon caught the ear of one of his influences, Sufjan Stevens, who signed De Augustine to his Asthmatic Kitty label. His 2017 follow-up and label debut, Swim Inside the Moon, was recorded in the same manner as his first album and its raw immediacy attracted a much wider audience, leading to tours in the U.S. and U.K. with acts like the Barr Brothers and Moses Sumney.
In December 2017, De Augustine unexpectedly received a breakup letter in the mail, and over the course of the next few weeks, spun his emotional devastation into a set of songs which formed the basis of his third album, Tomb. Recording for the first time in a proper studio, he flew to New York to work with producer Thomas Bartlett, better known as Doveman, whose credits include Glen Hansard, Rhye, and De Augustine's mentor, Sufjan Stevens, among others. The resulting collection, Tomb, was released in January 2019. ~ Timothy Monger