Thursday, December 23rd, 2021

Augustine – Summer Wine

Coming to us from Caro, a brief bit of break-up wistfulness…


Vikram Joseph: A gently flickering piano ballad that nicely captures both a feeling of numbness and a sense of motion, of being completely hollowed out by someone and yet life continuing to move around you as if nothing had changed. It’s a shame that Augustine doesn’t seem to know what to do with it after about 90 seconds; the badly autotuned “oh my lady love” bits are very cringe (yes, we get it, you’re straight) and it just fizzles out thereafter.

Ian Mathers: You know how you can say just about anything to a cat or dog as long as you say it in an affectionate tone of voice? (I have no idea if this is scientifically valid, but it’s certainly something people say, and what pet owner has not, at some point, tested it?) “Summer Wine” makes me feel like one of those animals, because whatever is actually being said, the vibe is so strong that it’s all I can hear. Everything is OK, it says. You have time to catch up. You can put it downYou can relax. There’s a very real sense in which it’s not true, but you can’t just run until the point of collapse.

Michael Hong: Like a short film, Augustine’s keys pack a plot in the short run time. They spend their first moments trying to find stable ground, coolly coasting in something grandly cinematic. It fades out into a sunset of strings, the “can’t wait to do it all over” a promise for another summer.

Scott Mildenhall: Augustine may or may not be aware of Compo in a bathtub, but in the UK, Last of the Summer Wine has a considerable head start over this song. For all that he pours his heart and soul into it, he’s overpowered by the acutely nostalgic theme tune that was given loud-and-clear lyrical accompaniment by Bill Owen, the Mike Sammes Singers and more. By comparison, it gets quite hard to even hear what Augustine is saying. His chosen route to making the song compelling — starkly focusing on his spartan words — is thus heavily impeded.

Iain Mew: Especially on headphones this is almost uncomfortably intimate, vocals sounding like they’re crumbling to pieces in my ears. The blast of AutoTune that finishes it off is just as bizarre next to the repressed calm of the string arrangement, but in a very different direction. The overall effect is baffling, memorable, and somewhere more than the sum of its parts.

Nortey Dowuona: The lilting piano is constantly rushing forward, then halting and tripping over its words, before the bass and strings slowly pour over its toes, while Augustine and his echoes, bound with keening pitching and vocoding, begin to blossom and flower, the strings pushing the piano to walk, walk firmly in this direction…

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