The latest single from Edinburgh-based alt-country noir rock band Augustalia is a dark little ditty which wouldn’t sound out of place on David Lynch’s car stereo as he goes cruising down Mulholland Drive at 3 in the morning.
“You’re not afraid of me now but you should be” sings Hannah O’Reilly, her sweet-sounding vocals edged with razor-sharp menace as she tells the tale of bloodletting and stilettos (daggers or heels, possibly both). This is a song which wants to wake you up in the middle of the night, whisper nightmares in your ear, then slip you something to make you fall back asleep again.
Musically, things start off with gentle strummed guitar punctuated by a smattering of drums sounding like thunder in the desert. Then, Stiletto begins to creep up on you: every time you turn round, it’s a little bit closer, until the production reaches its murderous crescendo, with guitar, bass, drums and Hannah’s harmonies all competing for the privilege of delivering the final blow.
Take the lyrical content away and Stiletto is a brooding and atmospheric spinetingler. Add in the tale of vengeance and murder, however, and it turns into a gloriously dark trip into Augustalia’s noirish head – but fortunately a head with its tongue still firmly in its cheek.
Making some of the most distinctive and original music on the Edinburgh scene, you may not be aware of Augustalia now – but you should be.