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Augustine – Wishful Thinking (EP)

Swedish songwriter, producer, & multi-instrumentalist Augustine possesses a special propensity for capturing the essence of a feeling sonically. As intangible as this phenomenon may sound, this prowess is confirmed many times over in his lustrous debut EP Wishful Thinking, released June 14.

All five tracks on the project move through the many layers of fear and chronicles a personal account of the people and experiences that manifested some of Augustine’s most arduous struggles. In his own words, “Hearing the EP from a distance, it became clear that this music grew out many years of me being afraid of being a disappointment to others. All the lyrics were inspired by being afraid of people, the world and leaving things behind.”

The EP kicks off with Augustine’s first release as an artist, “Luzon.” The single which catapulted to #1 on Hype Machine and revealed to the world his glistening tone and abounding synth-based sound, “Luzon” is the perfect avenue to begin this journey on. Inspired by contrasts in romantic relationships, the production reflects the all encompassing high of falling in love, yet the message presents a sobering and often scary reality, that every high has its come down.

Followed by two new tracks, both incorporating the juxtaposition of euphoric sounds with heartbreaking lyricism, Augustine uses this soundscape to explore the fear of failure and regret. “Viola,” is a very fluid track with throbbing low frequency beats and a series of balmy, surging synth-cords. The track builds and rescinds, finally flourishing into a beautiful, cathartic melody in the chorus while musing on thoughts of self-doubt and disappointment.

Moving into the most up-tempo song of the project, title-track “Wishful Thinking” welcomes you to synth-paradise, with supple electronic layers, gyrating through a series of sonic planes. An accurate emotional representation of the false comfort wishful thinking can provide, we are reminded that this heavenly escape Augustine has created is but a dream leaving him at a loss, “naked in your scheme … a wishful thinking.”

His second previous release, “A Scent of Lily” makes its follow up appearance, focusing on the sensation of losing oneself to the power of a relationship and forgetting who you are as an individual. A fitting segue into closing ballad, “Slacks” the most personal and stripped back on the EP. Sweeping mellotron tones and languid keys supplement Augustine’s heartfelt musings on how a relationship destined for success fell to the wayside due to distance. The trauma of the experience reflected in his passionately mournful falsetto and heavy, nostalgia-laden lyrics. Augustine closes his debut with swells of strings and overlapping harmonies, a cinematic close to a stunning project.

Jessica Thomas