It's easy to get hyperbolic when discussing an artist who is genuinely exciting, especially one whose music tends toward the transcendental. Jacob Augustine, the enigmatically sorrowed and gorgeous-voiced Maine songwriter is no exception. Each tremble and howl that leaves Augustine’s mouth does so as a sacrifice. The music is pastoral yet intimate. His lyrics are steeped in naturalistic imagery of nights that freeze and mornings that thaw and grow as a river.
All released on the same day in October, his three new albums deal with issues of solitude, addiction, salvation and personal fortitude in very different ways. The three albums are sonically diverse, and Frontier is arguably the most accessible and straightforward record, featuring the instantly catchy and haunting “Pulse and Hum” as well as the celebratory “Peace Comes.” Goldhymns is a minimal, personal affair that finds Augustine at his most serene. It is a compact six songs, and utilizes nothing but his mighty voice and sparse acoustic guitar. Finally, The Original Love is the experimental album of the bunch, exploring various atmospheric landscapes and vocal techniques. One track coddles while the next jolts. Within this three-album epic, he manages delicacy and brooding fervor as if they are one in the same. Augustine is a brown bear nursing a dove. His songs are timeless yet dwell on mortality. He may be as lost as everyone else, but listen to his music and you may never want to be found.
Jacob Augustine is living up in Northern Maine so if you are lucky enough to live in the area, he plays fairly often in various incarnations from solo performer to a full band sound. You can download his entire catalog for free HERE, but you can also make a donation. And you should. (Photo by Shervin Lainez) - Adam G.