Angie – Free Agent, track-by-track

free agent

‘Free Agent’ is the second longplayer from Sydney-based musician Angie. While travelling last year, Angie began working on the record in Paris. She then headed to Brazil for an artist residency where she turned the album into a living, breathing thing. Coming back to Sydney, she teamed up with long time compadre Owen Penglis and it was released earlier this month. We asked her to talk us through the album, track by track…

‘Free Agent’ was a long time coming. The melodies and lyrics came together whilst I was living in Paris, on a very solitary track. I finally had some proper time to think and then it all came spilling out, song after song after a period of nothing. There is an optimism to the songs that [previous album] ‘Turning’ definitely lacked, yet there were definitely a few shackles still to knock off my back. A further period of research and reflection in Brazil solidified everything into one definitive document.

On my return to Sydney I began tracking the album at Owen Penglis’s Sydney studio, and we worked every Monday for what felt like forever. We have a good rhythm with recording, we understand each other and let each other do our thing with a certain level of understanding and trust (and antagonising, as per most creative collaborations!).

Breathing in Blue
This song relates the experience of having concussion and trying to communicate to your loved one without having the means to do so. Its probably the most personal song on the album and possibly my favourite.

Crocodile Tears
This song I would say is about curiosity. The first one written during my french sojourn, it goes between first and third person, relating an experience that can never be explained, known, or understood. There’s a sadness there but in fact it’s more of a curiousness, the very human need to try to understand everything.

Down for the Count
This melody just came to me on a bus, I got off and sang it into my phone – the lyrics, everything. My grandfather recently passed away, but he always used to use ‘Down for the Count’ as reference towards going to sleep. There is something unconscious about it. It’s about being asleep, but being so wide awake, and really living. The solo at the end has some amazing glam effects courtesy of Mr. P.

Crocodile Tears (Reprise)
This song is inspired by 50s + 60s instrumentals, like the Ventures and the like. It’s a continuation of Crocodile Tears, or a instrumental ‘reminder’ thats a small melodic idea from that song extended, transpired. It’s an exploration of sonic and melodic possibility.

A Man Asleep
This song was recorded in Brasil whilst I was on the residency. I was staying in this big colonial house and at night I would venture to a different spot and experiment on keyboards that were lying around there. There was a strange nature to the house – it was so big, haunted, filled with strange colonial ghosts and I was reading Perec and wandering about masculinities in unison, and Andy Warhol’s films.

Out of Age
Out of Age is a power pop tribute. The solo goes against the vocal melody, and tried to lift, counter it and dominate. I can’t help but listen to the solo. This song writes itself. It was already there, in the stars I just had to pull it down.

Paris Face & Ricky’s Street
So naive as I was in Paris, a lone Australian girl, I would wander around smiling at absolutely everyone. This came to an abrupt end with a bad chain of events, including a horrible mugging on Rue Riquet in the 19th Arrondissement  I had to thus learn a kind of cruelness that wouldn’t allow anyone to read me, I was closed. These songs are a bit about this social conditioning which was a means of self-preservation that I found often hard to bear. It’s also about masculine figures in my life, and the kind of unspoken silence that lies between them.

The Bell Rings True
This song is about a subject. There’s a heaviness there that implicit, but you’ve had the distance and time to reflect, consider and most importantly forgive.

Free Agent is out now via Rice Is Nice. Grab it here.