Stevens and De Augustine: tender songs about tough films
Memories of films, poured into songs: Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine have turned it into a beautiful folk pop album. But it never gets as nerve-racking and gloomy as some cinema templates.
Berlin – The idea sounds exciting: Sufjan Stevens and Angelo De Augustine, two renowned US singer-songwriters from neo-folk and indie pop, have written and recorded 14 songs based on more or less well-known cinema films.
“A Beginner’s Mind” is an album that charms and lulls with tenderness – but also confuses.
Because if bloody horror flicks like “The Night of the Living Dead” or “The Thing from Another World” and hard thrillers like “The Silence of the Lambs” or “Point Break” were actually the inspiration for some of the 14 songs, then you can hear that of the music does not. Stevens (46), who many consider to be one of the world’s best song poets at the moment, and the talented De Augustine (28) consistently choose a dreamy, melodious tone for their stories.
In “Back To Oz”, inspired by the legendary film musical “The Wizard of Oz”, the two of them get caught in a nice, swaying mid-tempo groove – it remains the exception. Otherwise there are ballads performed in perfect falsetto harmony singing, with which personal cinema impressions are indulged.
Ultimately, this is reminiscent of highly melodic Stevens works such as “Illinois” (2005) or his greatest success “Carrie & Lowell” (2015). But the forefathers of acoustic folk pop can also be heard: Just recently, the Norwegian duo Kings Of Convenience (“Peace Or Love”) had just recently discovered how influential the more than 50-year-old sound of Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel is for today’s singer-songwriters. ) and the Swede José González (“Local Valley”) proved.
Stevens / De Augustine themselves describe their slightly sugary music as “Simon & Garfunkel with New Age flourishes”. As a listener, over the 46 minutes of “A Beginner’s Mind”, you may wish for a little more variety and one or the other dark irritation, but you can definitely enjoy these extremely fine songs as acoustic pats. dpa