Almost exactly two years ago, we shared “Time,” a live collaboration between California-based songwriter and musician Angelo De Augustine and Sufjan Stevens. The track would tease De Augustine’s then-forthcoming album Tomb, and introduce many to the wonders of his ethereal vocals and wistful songwriting. Today, De Augustine returns with “Blue,” another exquisite example of his emotive sonic capabilities—and it also features Stevens as an accomplice. The track—soon to be available as a double a-side 7-inch single with “Santa Barbara” (released earlier this year, also in collaboration with Stevens)—ruminates on friendship, loss and love with De Augustine’s sensitive touch.
“All songs come to me at certain times. I can see it and hear it all in my head and then I write it all down,” De Augustine tells us about his process as a songwriter. As for “Blue,” he says the song “speaks of an admission in confidence to a friend, the eternal and symbiotic bond of mother and child, and an inquisition into our inner pain. Investigating if we are forever bound by it.”
“I was in New York City and we were hanging out and planned to do some work in a studio space he was renting in Manhattan,” De Augustine says of Stevens’ involvement. Both are on the roster of independent record label Asthmatic Kitty. “He was showing me how to record on his computer. There were a number of instruments in the place, so we could just swap and engineer one another and record parts for the song.” There’s a divine seamlessness to the collaboration.
De Augustine also self-directed and shot the official music video on Super 8 film. “I really like 16mm cameras but I heard that they are a little more advanced than using a Super 8 camera so I decided to start with the latter and work my way up,” he says of the creative path. “You basically just point and shoot on the Super 8. I’m a beginner but I think the world looks nice on any kind of film; as a result of the film being a physical object, you always fail to get exactly what you put into it. That can make things exciting because it leaves some room for you to be surprised by the results.”
Just prior to the release, De Augustine unveiled a limited-edition collection of apparel and accessories in his merch store. Bright colors, psychedelic forms and eccentric patterns collide and come to life through a cap, T-shirt, a pair of overalls, pins and more. It’s an inspired series—with prices ranging from $6 to $225.
“I was designing some clothes just for myself and working with a seamstress that makes prototypes,” De Augustine says. “Somebody made a suggestion that it might be nice to share these items with people out in the world that might enjoy them as well. I usually have a really hard time finding clothes at the store that I would like to wear so I tend to always be in need of them. But I enjoy drawing and painting so I’m trying to make the clothing into some kind of wearable art piece instead of just something to put on because we have to.” It’s another whimsical manifestation of his artistry.
Hero images from “Blue” by Angelo De Augustine