suggestioni musicali a cura di raffaello russo
“Carcassonne” is the a-side of the new 7″ single by Angelo De Augustine, out June 29th. Angelo De Augustine writes and records music in Thousand Oaks, California — a suburb north of Los Angeles, where he grew up. His self-released debut album, “Spirals of Silence”, and 3-song EP follow-up, “How Past Begins”, earned praise from The FADER, Stereogum, Vogue, My Old Kentucky Blog, and more.
“Swim Inside the Moon” is the latest record by the 24-year-old. This second full-length of Angelo’s career captures a sound he’s been looking for since he started playing music a decade ago.
Shortly after the 2015 release of Spirals of Silence, his first record, Angelo toured extensively but caught whooping cough on the last show of the tour. The illness debilitated Angelo for months. He feared he might permanently lose his voice, or if it came back, it wouldn’t sound the same.
Unable to sing or sometimes even speak, Angelo instead focused on songwriting. “I wasn’t thinking much about making a record,” says Angelo.
This gave Angelo a lot time to focus on songwriting and sound. Although Angelo had previously recorded in studios, he felt like that environment didn’t capture the ambience he wanted for his music.
Angelo’s voice did recover, and this time he set-up his equipment by himself, in his home. In his bathtub.
Recording in a bathroom might sound odd, but it’s nothing new really; supposedly Jim Morrison recorded vocals for “L.A. Woman” in a bathroom and even took The Doors (lolz) off the hinges so he could talk to bandmates while he played, and The Beatles recorded some of their earliest work in bathrooms. In the 1940s, producer Bill Putnam engineered the first intentionally recorded reverb for a Harmonicats take of “Peg o’ My Heart” by putting the microphone and loudspeaker in a bathroom.
Angelo’s setup was similarly simple: a Shure SM57 microphone next to the wall of the shower and a cable back to an analog reel-to-reel in his nearby bedroom. He’d hit record, then run quickly to the bathroom with his guitar and sit on the edge of the tub and play and sing. For some songs, he played his mother’s 100-year-old piano in the living room, and on others he added synth and electric guitar. He kept it simple.
Recording the nine songs on “Swim Inside the Moon” took several months. Because Angelo was using an analog reel-to-reel machine with very little overdubbing, he was always recording live. If something didn’t go as planned, he’d start from scratch each time.