Augustana have been through many changes throughout the twelve years of existence. Their debut album All the Stars and Boulevards, featured everyone’s favorite indie piano driven tune, “Boston” (we all remember that song, right?) was released back in 2005 and now Augustana is set to release their fourth studio album Life Imitating Life on April 22nd.
Dan Layus is one of my favorite lyricists today. He finds a way to speak the simple truth in such a heartfelt, poignant manner, while his vocals seem to capture a raw emotional grasp of life. Something which is especially prevalent on Life Imitating Life, in songs like “Say You Want Me.”
Despite having solid albums throughout the years, Augustana was dropped by Epic Records back in 2011. Through the highs and lows, Dan stuck it out and announced back in February of this year that Augustana had been signed to Washington Square Music for the label’s first release.
Life Imitating Life had a little more of a solo aspect to it, with subtleties of a full band weaving in and out of the songs. For anyone who has seen Augustana’s live shows, you’ll feel like this album is a perfect interpretation of that. Last year Dan did a solo Augustana tour, the year before he performed with the full band. Dan switches up the set by jumping back and forth between keys and guitar, solo and full band, keeping the audience in the palm of his hand as he weaves the lyrics and hangs on the words for the audience’s suspense.
Earlier this week Dan had told Billboard: “Ultimately I just want to put something positive out there in the world. I feel an undeniably strong need to create and release something that feels positive and hopeful and important in an artistic way. If it can inspire somebody or help them when they’re in a rough spot in their lives, a place I’ve been before and survived to tell the tale, then what a special thing to be able to do.”
Also released earlier this week was the official lyric video for “Youth is Wasted on the Young” off Life Imitating Life
[LISTEN] Augustana – “Youth is Wasted on the Young” Offical
Dan’s music draws from a dark place and the themes in this album are pretty clear. It’s emotional, raw, and real – dare I say the most personal album from Augustana to date. I wouldn’t expect anything less, Dan recently moved from Los Angeles to Nashville, and you can tell a little bit of Nashville snuck in with him on this album. Overall, expect to hear a little bit of your classic comforting Augustana sound, with a jacked up sense of emotion. If you’ve been through a bad relationship or break-up recently you might want to grab some tissues too while you’re at it, because this is bound to make you feel something.
Augustana plays their usual Philly venue, TLA on May 18th with Chris Carrabbas’s Twin Fork’s. Tickets are still available HERE.
Also be sure to pre-order Life Imitating Life HERE and you’ll get “Ash & Ember” download now with purchase.
[LISTEN] Augustana – “Ash & Ember” Official
[Track listing & Lyrical Tasting]
Ash & Ember
Am I seeing double, am I withdrawn, depositing lyrics into a love song.
Need a Little Sunshine
We got a little bit of faith in the hard times…I got you and I’m feelin alright.
Love in the Air
It’s alright if you need a little time, baby I don’t mind, I’ll be on the line.
Youth is Wasted on the Young
I built so many bridges, then I sat and watched them burn. I had so many chances, never took the time to learn.
Say You Want Me
You can run and be free, if that’s what you need. If you turn back around, would you want to be here?
Life is full of things we can’t control, but the beauty lines in finding someone wonderful, like a full eclipse perfectly aligned and we just fit together.
According to Plan
Was I a terminal distraction or just a chemical reaction, was it chance or was it fate or was I just standing in your way.
I Really Think So
Lit Kerosene, sweet memories, they linger, follow wherever I go….never out, never out of my head.
I can feel it right now, just where I want to be. I reach out, you’re right in front of me.
Will you hear me blowing in the wind, will it give you shivers down your skin. Will you stop and stare, wonder if I’m there?