I’ve been listening to this new album for a few weeks now (it drops today) and every time I pop it back into the CD player, it’s like an old friend coming to visit. Frontman Daniel Layus’ tender vocals play nicely off of soaring tempos, easily sliding between a rockin’ ballad and then into a more staccato-flavored beat. While vocals are sitting front and center in the mix, the stellar band (guitarist Chris Sachtleben, bassist Jared Palomar, drummer Justin South and keyboardist John Vincent) drives the album, one track at a time. And not surprising, as producer Jacquire King, the man behind Kings of Leon’s breakthrough, Only by the Night, oversaw this project. Filled with rootsy-rock, Augustana’s self-titled release is a beautifully drawn album with sweet moments of lush vocals and sparse instrumentation that deftly transitions to a more upbeat, toe-tapping, full-on rockin’ groove. Dropping today, check out this new music from my old friend, Augustana.