EP Premiere: Augustine Debuts with Effervescent, Cinematic ‘Wishful Thinking’

Wishful Thinking - Augustine EP art
A dazzling work of intimacy, enchantment, and innovation, Augustine’s ‘Wishful Thinking’ EP introduces the young Swede as an artist who should be on everyone’s radar.
Listen: ‘Wishful Thinking’ – Augustine

I think I see all the songs on here as some kind of catharsis when it comes to leaving youth and becoming some kind of adult.

Out of every soul, there pours a wellspring of magnificence. Most of the time it’s hidden from everyday view, but with the right care, talent, and nurturing – not to mention, a little luck – you can turn that inner beauty into something the whole world can share.

At 22 years old, Swedish artist Augustine is still very much in the beginning stages of charting his course; he’s not much farther along than any of his peer group, but through his debut EP Wishful Thinking, he’s provided listeners with a vivid window into his passions and pains, reflections and reservations. A dazzling work of intimacy, enchantment, and innovation, Wishful Thinking introduces Augustine as an artist who should be on everyone’s radar.

Augustine © Oskar Omne

Spread all through my entangled mind
A scent of lily in my bed
Still left there from Sunday night
Oh and how she spreads
All through my entangled mind
A scent of lily in my bed
Still left there from Sunday night

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Augustine’s debut EP Wishful Thinking, out everywhere June 14, 2019. A mesmerizing work of musically balanced, lyrically reflective indie pop, Wishful Thinking finds Augustine balancing the last vestiges of his youth with the demands and responsibilities of adulthood. The EP arrives around a tremendous amount of hype – literally and figuratively – after both of the artist’s first two singles reached #1 on the Hype Machine charts.

Wishful Thinking - Augustine EP art

Wishful Thinking – Augustine EP art

If you haven’t heard “Luzon” or “A Scent of Lily” yet, you’re in for quite the treat. Augustine’s crystalline falsetto and graceful synth work keeps his music engaging and interesting. The artist cites the likes of The xx, Maggie Rogers, Blood Orange, Phoebe Bridgers, and more as musical influences – but ultimately, what he has managed to create is a unique entity unto itself: Something that ebbs and flows with its own sounds and plays by its own rules.

What’s more, every song on Wishful Thinking has its rightful place: “Viola” is both bright and moody, a hypnotic introspection on getting older and its accompanying insecurities. “Wishful Thinking” is a dreamy getaway – an escape to a sweeter landscape that rightfully earns its title track status. “Slacks” is the poignant, deep cut ballad – a song that resonates the more times you listen to it. Thus while “A Scent of Lily” is currently Augustine’s runaway hit to date, there’s no telling what may happen after Friday.

Already an Atwood Magazine Editor’s Pick, Augustine has a tendency to make songs that get stuck in your head for weeks on end.

He proves that over and over on his euphoric debut EP, opening his soul with majestic strength and pouring lively energy and intimacy into every song.

Atwood Magazine spoke to Augustine about his influences, the moments that inspired the music, and the importance of vulnerability. Dive into Wishful Thinking with our interview, and listen to the brand new EP ahead of its release through our exclusive stream!

Augustine’s Wishful Thinking EP is out June 14, 2019.

Listen: ‘Wishful Thinking’ – Augustine

A CONVERSATION WITH AUGUSTINE

Atwood Magazine: Hey Augustine, it’s a pleasure to connect with you and an honor to introduce your debut EP to the world! For starters, what is the personal significance of this record for you?

Augustine: Hi there! Well first of all, thank you so much for doing that! These five songs means a whole lot! It’s all I’ve been thinking about for a very long time. I’m just so happy that all these different ideas and thoughts over the years have found a “home”, a context where they all suddenly make sense.

A debut naturally introduces an artist to the world, and yours begins with “Luzon,” your debut single. Why are you opening the record with this song?

Augustine: I think “Luzon” introduces the sound and the world for the other songs best way possible. It kind of paints and describes this warm place where I want the other songs to exist too! I’m also so proud of the song and it has somehow changed my life so it felt natural to put in first.

There’s this straining push and pull between happiness and sorrow permeating “Luzon.” What situation or moment inspired this song?

Augustine: For some reason I had this scene in my head where a couple is getting dressed up and ready for a night out together. Just the two of them, almost like a honeymoon I guess.

You’re completely in awe of each other and it feels like you will adore this person this much forever, but then sorrow finds its way back because you realise that this feeling will eventually diminish and take off and you’ll wear each other down and get sad.

Baby nags because I just cracked her up
Says she needs the time for the eyes to dry
I’ll pull back my hair like in Grease
And you’ll cling to my arm as I swing for his jaw
Only lovers and nicotine
All the covers and bad routines
Bet our mothers would call us freaks
If they knew the odds that we’re up against

Who are your musical inspirations? If you were to liken your work to a few select peers, who would they be?

Augustine: I’ve been listening a lot to acts like The xx, Lana Del Rey, Maggie Rogers, Blood Orange and Phoebe Bridgers when making the EP.

On that vein, what music inspires you? What gets you excited - a good hook? A buoyant melody? What catches your attention?

Augustine: I like it when songs doesn’t try too hard, the “less is more” kind of thing! When it sounds like the song was written in one hour but still manages to be packed with hooks and melodies. I was very much into the mega hit ‘Feel It Still’ by ‘Portugal. The Man’ for a while because it just sounds so easy and relaxed but still catches your attention from the very first second.

I love the line, “I’ll be your biggest disappointment if you sum up the years of adolescence” in “Viola.” I understand this to be an expression of insecurity, and I’d love to understand from whence it came. How did those words come to be?

Augustine: I was reminiscing a lot about high school and the time after when everything changes because people go in different directions. It feels like there’s a lot of decisions to make when you’re around 18 to 20 years old and slowly shifting from late adolescence to adulthood. I think the line came to be because it feels like I could have treated different a relationship in a better way when making these choices.

Out of that, did a certain moment spawn “Viola”?

Augustine: I was listening a lot to “Ribs” by Lorde and I understand it to be about the fear of getting older, so that song was a huge influence!

Augustine © Oskar Omne

Augustine © Oskar Omne

“Wishful Thinking” is a classically catchy pop song, for me. What mindset were you in when creating this song?

Augustine: “Wishful Thinking” is one of the first songs I started working on together with Rassmus Björnson, the main producer of the project. It’s also the only song on the EP which hasn’t been deconstructed a million times to get it right!

Do you see the songs on this EP as standalone individual tracks, or is each one a part of the EP’s story as a whole?

Augustine: They all started out as individual tracks but when listening back to the EP I think they work together in a nice way. It’s almost like the sound builds and gets bigger throughout the EP, starting with the small and light Luzon and then escalades with the big Wishful Thinking. Then there’s a chance to rest your ears a bit on Slacks. Viola and Slacks are also quite connected to each other in the theme.

“A Scent of Lily” was your second song release. How did listening to “Into You” spawn such a totally different song, with this wholly exciting response?

Augustine: It was mostly the rhythm and that staccato chorus from “Into You” which led me to open up the computer to try to produce something similar! Then it became just this sauce of reverb in the verses and pre-chorus but eventually breaking off with a similar bass rhythm as “Into You” in the chorus.

Why did you opt to conclude with “Slacks”?

Augustine: It felt like a chance to breath and rest your ears for a while because the other four songs are so packed with information and drums and other loud elements.

You’ve previously shared that “Slacks” is your most personal song. Was it a challenge to get that vulnerable on record?

Augustine: It remains to be seen! I’ve tried to write other songs this personal but they have never been released, haha. So it’s a bit scary that this song actually will be listened to by other people.

“Slacks” has a few moments that feel incredibly intimate and special; is this your means of catharsis, and if so how or when did you finally feel like you could close the book on this former relationship?

Augustine: I guess so! But at the same time it’s somehow not necessary, because we still hear from each other every now and then today like friends, which I’m very happy about.

Augustine © Oskar Omne

Augustine © Oskar Omne

Looking back on this five song collection upon its imminent release, what most excites you about this EP? What about it makes you smile?

Augustine: I’m so proud of all the songs and it’s been the best and most challenging year of my life! You mentioned catharsis and I think I see all the songs on here as some kind of catharsis when it comes to leaving youth and becoming some kind of adult.

What are you most excited about for the rest of the year?

Augustine: To play more shows after the summer! And start writing new music again!

I ask everyone this final question: Who’s getting you amped these days? Which artists should we be listening to right now?

Augustine: Oh, hmm.… I’ve been playing a lot of Billie Marten’s Feeding Seahorses by Hand and The Japanese House’s Good at Falling album lately! They’re so great!

Listen: ‘Wishful Thinking’ – Augustine

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Wishful Thinking - Augustine EP art

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📸 © Oskar Omne

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com