If you’re in the mood for new music, solid songwriting and old-fashioned rock n’ roll anthems, lend an ear to Augustana’s “Life Imitating Life” released just this week from Washington Square, their new label.
Concert Alert: Augustana will be at the Doug Fir Lounge on Friday, May 2. Ticket Info.
The new release opens with the sparkling “Ash and Ember,” a classic Augustana track about gritty determination, persistence and hope. “Like a phoenix I was born / from ash and ember,” sings lead singer Dan Layus – and that sums up this band, right about now.
It’s been three years since their third release, “Augustana,” hit store shelves. Since that time, they’ve been through their fair share of trials. Their van and trailer were broken into on the road…they lost their contract with Epic, and band lineup changed, too. The one thing that’s stayed consistent through it all? That would be musician singer-songwriter Dan Layus.
Layus’s earnest, touching vocals and consistently strong songwriting skills – he cites Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen as among his inspirations – are the hallmarks of this heartland alt-rock band, still popular among 20-somethings, middle age-er’s and boomers.
Ash and Ember
In a 2011 interview with American Songwriter magazine, Layus described his writing style as “…observing people around me. I identify with stories…that always translated to me in a really real way, and I think I sort of just picked up on that as a way to write songs.”
Recorded in both New York City and Nashville, “Life Imitating Life” was produced by John O’Mahony (Coldplay, Sara Bareilles). Fans will embrace “Need a Little Sunshine” – it’s tailor-made for wide audience appeal – and the life-affirming “Love in the Air,” a fun, loving tribute family man Layus wrote for his wife and kids.
Augustana’s first hit was “Boston” from their 2005 “All the Stars and Boulevards.” It was used on an episode of “Scrubs,” after which “All the Stars” was re-released, finally charting on Billboard. “Boston” remains one of their most popular in-concert songs with remarkable staying power, always eliciting lively reactions from fans.
On tours, they’ve headlined with Snow Patrol and One Republic, among others.
They issued their third CD “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt” in 2008, from which their well-loved hit single “Sweet and Low” was born. Their cumulative sales have exceeded 500,000 albums and they’re currently on-tour to promote the new release.
More Peak Moments From “Life”
Other peak moments from the new album? “Alive” delivers great vocals and a stunning arrangement. The band has been performing it live in concert for well over a year now, and their fans on Twitter have been tweeting about it all the while. It’s a standout track you’ll want to put on your iPod or mp3-player, along with their heartfelt “Remember Me,” a robust ballad showcasing both great vocals and piano.
With this latest effort solidifying their musical standing and ability to emerge unscathed from the challenges of the music world, there’s every reason to expect continued success for this exceptional band.
Augustana on tour
Upcoming tour dates include San Francisco, Portland (May 2), Vancouver and Seattle. Watch for them.
You can find the new release on their website, at www.augustanamusic.com