Augustalia are a band so achingly cool they’re probably responsible for the recent snowfall.
However, the four tracks on their debut EP ‘It’s Never Too Late To Ask For Your Knickers Back’ smoulder with enough noir rock fire and alt-country warmth to keep the subbest of zero temperatures at bay.
First track ‘Love & Laudanum‘ has its feet set in the noir camp, with singer-songwriter Hannah O’Reilly in deliciously self-deprecating and ironic mood (‘I’ve got a place to be and I’ve got my herbal tea’). Taking the baton from the likes of The Dresden Dolls with a suitably narcotic refrain and some crunchy guitar work from Adrian Michalski, the track sets out Augustalia’s wares for all to see: melodic rock, crystal-clear vocals and harmonies and a smattering of ‘parental discretion advised’ lyrical content.
The previously-reviewed ‘Foolish‘ waltzes up next, a heart-rending and heartbreaking concoction of acoustic guitar and subtle percussion from Steve Galbraith. The production values are high, with strings swooping amidst Hannah’s tingling vocals like bees around honey.
‘Dimes‘ is – due to the fact the lyrical content would turn half the chorus into one big bleep – the track least likely to be played on the radio. Though with its country-tinged guitar, Gary Anderson’s bluesman bassline and Hannah’s infamous kazoo, it can certainly stand proudly on its own musical feet.
The boys leave Hannah and her ukulele to her own devices on the closing track ‘Ode to Lederhosen’. Like some unholy alliance between Bridget Jones and Amanda Palmer, Hannah sings about relationship breakups and big pants, whilst strumming her way through this lovably charming and amusing little underwear-themed ditty.
The EP is a great introduction to Augustalia’s unique sound. With their marriage of musicianship and mischief, they are cast-iron originals on the Edinburgh music scene and deserve to get their stuff heard well beyond the EH postcode zone.
‘It’s Never Too Late To Ask For Your Knickers Back’ is available to purchase on Amazon