Take one listen to Augustana's self-titled third album and it's clear that this band has thrown off the shackles of playing it safe. Lead vocalist and lyricist Daniel Layus has dug deep and emerged with a passionate, rootsy rock collection that is distinctively American, recalling the muscularity and epic sweep of albums by Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen in their heyday. The album is a shimmering blend of rock, folk, and country that manages to sound both modern and timeless. The subtle, streamlined production by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Norah Jones) lets the true beauty of Layus soulful vocal delivery, as well as the band's barnstorming performances, shine through.
"A lot of the songs are about digging in your heels and not giving up the fight for someone you love," he says. Layus describes the first single, "Steal Your Heart," as "an ultimate song of love and hope. I've never really written about that before," he says. "I've never done anything that blatant. It's a hand-in-the-sky, take-no-prisoners kind of moment where you just have no choice but to lay it all out there."