Over the last several months, Cayetana’s Augusta Koch has been quietly playing new material in solo shows around town, trading her usual electric guitar for an acoustic one and letting her distinct voice fill smaller, quieter spaces. Now, we know where those songs were going — not to Cayetana (who released their last album just a year ago), but to a new project entirely. Gladie makes its debut with a full band EP, Everyone is Talking But You, out now, and a celebratory Philly show next week.
Gladie evolved from Koch’s solo side project to a collaborative effort with Three Man Cannon’s Matt Schimelfenig; the two recorded the new EP in their Poconos studio. They’re joined throughout by Candice Martello of Hemming on backing vocals and Sean Hallock on drums. The EP’s lead single, “The Problem is Us,” may sound familiar if you’ve caught any of Koch’s solo performances, but with the amped up production on the recording, the song reaches a new level entirely. That song and the others tackle themes of miscommunication, anxiety and change, held together by emotion-packed vocals and soft, shimmery instrumentals.
The EP opens with the critically self-aware “20/20,” which covers tension and optimism in broad, upbeat strokes, with “I am angry, I am lonely, but I’m optimistic, too.” To “Pages,” Martello’s backing vocals add a sense of urgency, as she and Koch sing “Your words won’t save me / I am the only one.” And on closing track “Back Bench,” Koch lends her signature voice crack to “We’re all capable of change / it’s foreign and it’s strange.”
Koch explained the project’s origins and songwriting/recording process to The Grey Estates:
“Gladie was born out of a little songwriting challenge I participated in with two dear friends. We challenged each other to write and share a song a week. That process in itself inspired me in ways I hadn’t experienced. As I was working on the songs at the studio Matt Schimelfenig and I built in the Poconos we started piecing the songs together, experimenting with different sounds and textures. The skeleton of the songs was pretty much just drum machine, guitar and vocals, and some keyboards. Once we finished working on the four songs in the Poconos, we asked our friend Sean Hallock to record drums for them at Miner Street in Philly. We really loved how they sounded with live drums and decided we wanted to put a full band together and start playing shows … I feel like the process of making this EP has taught me to believe in myself more and trust the process. I’m very excited and ready to keep working on this project and write with more intention.”
Stream the EP in full below. Gladie will play its first full band show at Everybody Hits on May 23 with Doll Baby, Bat Boy and Big Nothing.
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