The Denver-based folk singer gives C&I readers a first listen to her new track, “Can’t Get Enough.”
Recognized as a New Folk Finalist by the 2018 Kerrville Folk Festival, folk singer-songwriter Kelly Augustine is dropping her debut full album, Light in the Lowlands, April 5.
Originally from Oklahoma, but now based in Denver, Augustine drew inspiration from her home state for the new album.
Album highlights include the poignant and pensive “Can’t Get Enough.” Heavy on Augustine’s distinctive clear vocals, acoustic strums, and bluesy electric guitar riffs, the song captures the relatable dilemma of doomed attractions, laying bare a mate’s unfortunate attributes and the heartbreak of helplessly hanging in there in the relationship anyway.
When Augustine painfully admits “It’s easy to see that you’re no good for me, but I just can’t get enough,” you want to tell her she’s too good for the guy and to get out. Her honesty and vulnerability bring to mind your own love quagmires and the advice you’d give similarly stuck friends even when you can’t find the strength to heed it yourself.
We talked with Augustine about the emotional song and the making of the new album.
Cowboys & Indians: Is there a particular story behind this song? Did something inspire it?
Kelly Augustine: Oh, there are several stories. You live long enough and you’ve probably got a few stories that relate. This song depicts the personal struggle to do things and want things that aren’t always beneficial. We've all been there — the relationship we just can’t leave, the bad habit we just can’t break. I’ve watched people I love struggle, and I know what that’s like because I’ve been there.
C&I: Did this song come together easily when you recorded it, or did it take some time to get it just right?
Augustine: It took a little time, but it didn’t feel as difficult as some songs can. It’s funny — I had a very clear vision of what I wanted this song to sound like from a production standpoint. I wanted a sorrowful fiddle as the lead instrument filling up the spaces. Byron Berline was kind enough to come play fiddle in the studio. When we played this song for him, he said assuredly, “No, I don’t really hear fiddle in this one.” Not one of us in that room was going to argue with him!
C&I: You’re based in Denver now but come from Oklahoma and also recorded there. What, if anything, about either location informs your music or your sound?
Augustine: The music that has been inspiring me most over the past several years is coming out of Oklahoma with writers like John Fullbright and Evan Felker (Turnpike Troubadours). It’s not just the songwriting but the sounds of the records they make. I am a huge fan of fiddle, and the interplay between fiddle and electric guitar on the Troubadours records is really something special. I knew I wanted to incorporate those sounds into my record.
C&I: What do you hope listeners will take away from the song “Can’t Get Enough” and from the new full album?
Augustine: We need to fight the tendency to put people in boxes. Pain is an essential part of the human experience and people respond to pain in different ways. At the end of the day, it’s each of our responsibilities to share our pain with one another. When we speak our pain into the open light, the power the pain has over us is dispersed and picked up by others who aren’t wounded in the same ways we are. We can lighten each other’s burdens. It’s a messy, beautiful thing.
Augustine’s new record, Light in the Lowlands, drops April 5, but fans can get the track “Can’t Get Enough” instantly by preordering the album here.
Get an exclusive first listen to “Can’t Get Enough,” below.