1. More Than A Love Song
3. Only One
5. Found My Place
7. Midwest Skies & Sleepless Mondays
9. Empty Days
10. Not Alone
Augustana is a young band from the US of A that makes accessible music in the tradition of Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, Counting Crows, Sister Hazel, and the likes. Their demo album “Midwest Skies & Sleepless Mondays” is the first thing they release and it shows a promising band that hasn’t yet found their groove completely.
More Than A Love Song
More Than A Love Song is the first song we hear from this new band. The lead singer has a voice that reminds me of Johnny Rzeznik and frankly, the whole song has a Goo Goo Dolls feel. There are a lot of bands who make songs that sound similar to the Goo Goo Dolls, but at least here we have a band who does it well and the right way.
Lullaby sounds a little hasty but Dan Layus shows he is a talented vocalist. The songwriting itself isn’t so bad but the band is yet to find it’s groove and comfort zone.
This song has potential and even though the production could’ve done wonders for this song I won’t go into that too much as this is a demo album. It also has the Goo Goo Dolls feel though not as much as the opening track.
On Angels the band takes down the pace a little and that suits them well. The acoustic intro brings out Layus’ vocals a lot better and we can finally hear how good this man can sing. This more rootsy/americana pop/rock feel works very well for Augustana. This song is far from perfect and a bit of tweaking here and there could make this song a lot better, but it does show the potential of this band.
Found My Place
The playful tune Found My Place is possibly one of the best tracks on this demo album. The nice, familiar guitar loop carries the song and the rest of the band completes it with their respective tasks. It gets a little bit repetitive at times, but it’s a nice song to listen to once in awhile.
Though the vocals get lost in the music at times, this is the tightest song on the album. Maybe they will re-release this song with a proper production and mix and I believe this song has enough potential to go somewhere.
Midwest Skies & Sleepless Mondays
The title track of the album is probably my favorite track on the album. Production-wise it’s actually not so bad and it’s quite catchy. I don’t think it has too much radio potential but it has a nice rhythm and melody going for it.
Then we reach a beautiful piano-driven pop/rock ballad called Boston. This song DOES have radio potential. The piano makes Layus’ vocals come out really well and Augustana shows they are a great band that knows how to write good songs and build up momentum.
The Counting Crows-y Empty Days is a song that is very well done. Could possibly do well on radio too. It’s a favorite for me.
Not Alone has a nice sound to it, but can’t really convince. But it is a fitting album closer for MS&SM. At the end of this song is a hidden track that is really quiet but a nice little treat that the real fans will cherish.
The 2nd half of the album is a lot stronger than the first half, but Augustana shows that they are a band that is well on their way to find their place in music land and when they get everything in the right place and record a proper debut album, I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting it.