Track x Track: Angus1 - 'Open For Business'

Track x Track: Angus1 - 'Open For Business'

Sydney-based artist on the rise takes us through his debut EP of exploratory indietronica vibes

Image credit: Seiya Taguchi

It’s been quite the journey for musical chameleon Guy Tarento AKA Angus1 to get to the release of his new, debut EP, Open For Business. Having released a steady stream of singles since his debut release Linda in 2019, Angus1’s previous tunes have been released on some heavy hitting labels, including Future Classic and Kitsuné while getting the attention of ears both in Australia and abroad.

The culmination of his skills and experience now comes to a head on the brilliantly titled Open For Business - a five track collection that sees Angus1 touching on a range of sounds and styles. Broadly speaking, the “indietronica” tag can be applied to the release, but that’s really a far too simplistic description (genres, am I right?) reduction of the sounds on the EP. Opening with the urgent, post-punk influenced sounds of the title track, the vibes switch big time on Run - a cut of breakbeat infused goodness with a Desi-inspired vocal loop as its centrepiece.

Up next is a bit of 2-step/UK Garage influenced sounds in the form of The Path before the four-to-the-floor disco-pop sounds of The Hunt. Speaking of four to the floor, the record wraps up with Over The Hill, an introspective and atmospheric cut of French House influenced sounds, rounding out a diverse yet cohesive release. Tying it all together is Tarento’s tender vocals, fitting perfectly with his productions that very well could have been fleshed out as instrumental compositions (but are all the better for featuring his voice).

To celebrate the release of Open For Business, Guy was kind enough to take us through the record track by track:

Open for Business

Open for Business was a release valve for a lot of pent-up frustration, dissatisfaction, and regret. The more I came to truly understand myself through therapy, the more disappointment I felt about the way I’d behaved or gone about things in life. That disappointment applied to romantic relationships, music, work, study, friendships, money, where I lived... pretty much everything. The sentiment was like, “take me back to 17, 21, 25 etc and let me try doing things differently... imagine if I could do it all again knowing what I know now.” There’s a real (and unhelpful) resistance to accepting things as they’ve panned out, and that’s baked into Open for Business for better or worse.

Run

Run is a letter of encouragement to my friend Liz, who makes music as Elizabeth M.Drummond. The song is about her backing herself as a woman in music and freeing herself of people who have tried to control her creative process. It’s about letting go of past successes and failures, acknowledging and trusting your skills, regaining control, and moving forward. At the time of writing I was watching an anime called ‘Seven Deadly Sins’. One of the main characters is a literal giant with a war-hammer called Diane (pronounced by the Japanese voice artists as ‘dee-anna’ rather than ‘die-anne’). She possesses incredible strength but, unlike most other characters in the show, dislikes violence - it felt fitting to channel that character into the song in the lyrics “Diane, go all the way... you’re better than all the cowboys”.

There’s also enormous pressure for everyone in music, but particularly women, to inhabit this space of perpetual youth. Run is a reminder to both Liz and myself that sometimes you need to slow things down in order to speed things up... if you take your time, back yourself, and connect with who you really are, things will fall into place.

The Path

The Path was written at a particularly low ebb for me. My relationship of 5 years had ended, I didn’t have a dollar to my name, I didn’t have stable housing or employment, and I certainly didn’t have a sustainable career in music.

What I realise now is that I was in the grip of a pretty serious depression, but didn’t have the tools to identify it for what it was - I was still going to work, slogging it out in the studio, exercising, seeing friends. I didn’t fit the bed-ridden, home-bound, self-destructive stereotype of a deeply depressed person.

Without that insight, I blamed myself entirely for how I was feeling. It was my fault that I was in that position and couldn’t dig myself out. It was my fault that I couldn’t derive enjoyment from anything and felt nothing for everything and everyone. I had nothing left in the tank in every sense. Meanwhile the people around me were progressing in their chosen careers, getting married, having kids, travelling, and I couldn’t help but engage in comparison. How had I gone so off track in my mindless pursuit of a musical life?

The Hunt

The Hunt is about a casual relationship (with my now girlfriend) evolving into something far more meaningful, and bonding through shared hard times. Initially, we were both on the same page - the relationship is purely for fun, within parameters that it’s not exclusive and doesn’t need to go any deeper than that. There was this sense of “this is great - I get what I want, you get what you want, we keep things surface level and everyone’s happy”. As we spent more time together and supported each other through independently difficult periods in our lives (for me everything going on in ‘The Path’), it crept up on me that this person is really special, understands me and accepts me as I am, and that maybe there’s something deeper going on. ‘The Hunt’ is a time capsule of that ‘creeping up’ feeling - how I felt was revealed through the song and only became apparent to me after it was written, rather than me sitting down and deciding “I’ll write about this thing”.

Over the Hill

Over the Hill is a reminder to stop worrying about the passing of time and be present in the moment. I realised I'd been chewing up/impacting my present by spending too much time ruminating on the past and feeling concern about the future. Time is our most valuable asset, so do what brings you enjoyment and fulfilment rather than what you feel you have to do. Don’t “chase the moon” (i.e. shoot for the moon, always fixated on a future goal), “face the sun” (i.e. feel the warmth of the present moment, take some time to just be).

          - Angus1, April 2024

Angus1's new EP Open For Business is out now

Angus1 Open For Business EP Cover

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