by Maddy Siiter
What I find the most comforting about Augustana’s music is that its decade hasn’t been uniform. With the four records and one EP released under the alternative rock group’s name–whose lineup now seems to only regularly consist of frontman and sole songwriter Dan Layus–there’s definitely proof of growth, experimentation and honesty of the life Layus lives written in each song.
The latest releases Life Imitating Life (2014) and Side A (2015) are more refined indie-rock musings of forgiveness and unclear life pathways. They sound nothing like the 2006 heavier, emo-kid rock debut All the Stars and Boulevards, yet they should be contrasted because life as a single 20-something would be completely different to that of someone in their late 20s with a family.
Throughout the changes in Layus’s life–forming a band, starting a family, the dismembering of the band, choosing sobriety and starting over again–his music has showcased his unique place. He doesn’t try to hide anything or fit into a mold (like continuing to write songs similar the group’s most well known song “Boston”). His music evolves as his life does and that’s why I think these songs are so important to me; not because I necessarily can relate to them, but because I don’t have to to know they’re real.
- “Sunday Best” – All the Stars and Boulevards
- “Alive” – Life Imitating Life
- “Meet You There” – Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt
- “Just Stay Here Tonight” – Augustana
- “Someone’s Baby Now” – Augustana
- “Mayfield” – All the Stars and Boulevards
- “Must Be Love” – Side A
- “On the Other Side” – Augustana
- “Fit Together” – Life Imitating Life
- “I Really Think So” – Life Imitating Life
- “Fire” – Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt
- “Remember Me” – Life Imitating Life