Songs You Should Have Heard: Augustana’s “Hurricane”

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]ost of you are probably familiar with the 2005 hit “Boston” off of Augustana’s album All the Stars and Boulevards. If not that’s a shame. If you ever watched an episode of One Tree Hill, or any other teen drama from the mid-2000’s then there’s a good chance you heard it. Don’t knock me for having watched One Tree Hill, I’m not making fun of you for your obsession with the Real Housewives of Paoli. Besides, the musical selections of teen dramas are quite extraordinary. Anywho, that song strikes a chord deep within my bones each and every time I hear it, but that’s another story for another time. Of course, like all melodies that have a way of foraging themselves deep inside of our subconscious, Augustana became quite proficient at striking the right chords at the right time within my very own subliminal manner of thought. Simply put – this band has quite the catalogue of songs you should have heard because of the memories they could have created.

On Augustana’s 2011 self-titled fourth album, gone is the angst one might expect from younger bands, and in its place is an embraced solace and refined talent of a band progressing forward. They possess far more confidence and experience than they did on their debut album. Take a listen to the alt-country track “Hurricane” with its twangy guitars and singer Dan Layus’ signature lyrics that sound like penned verses spoken from gospel.

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Like hell on high wire,

I’m caught in a wildfire,

Lights are blinding,

The river’s winding,

Heaven’s rain fell,

On fallen angels,

Never minding the silver lining,

Well you can only pray when you’re,

Waiting out the hurricane

“Hurricane” is a chilled, slow motion ballad that places a slight country drawl in the background to allow the fervent vocals to take center stage.

Down on third avenue,

The singer is singing the blues,

And I got nothing to lose,

I’m just comin back for you

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I listened to the entire album, repeating “Hurricane” a handful of times as I often did back when the album was released six years ago. I was 28 back then and my way of thinking was vastly different than it is right now. But that’s the thing about this song – as long as you’re listening, really listening; something will click. It did for me anyway, and I found myself thrust right back to a time when everything was so uncertain, but I wasn’t afraid – because I didn’t know what I needed to be afraid of.

Yet, this morning as I walked outside something hit me. Something I haven’t felt in quite some time. No, it wasn’t a physical something. This hurt more. This sudden stab that pierced me was a feeling. It was the feeling of fleeting youth rooted firmly in a nostalgic present allowing me a shot of remembrance to a time when music was all I had – all I still have from that memory. Because the people, names, and places are gone, whisked away and stored as a shadowy memory that fades a little more every day. However, the song remains. And as I sit here trying my damnedest to recount what caused this unexpected shift in my subconscious – the smell in the air, the summer equinox, the morning light hitting the pavement in just the right way, spirits haunting me with certain musical notes – I am at a loss. I can’t tell you why this feeling encompassed me. I can’t. I want to, but for the first time in a while, I just can’t find the words.

The words, quite simply, are gone.

And because the words are gone, I’m scared that I’ve lost a part of myself – or outgrown it.

This, they say, is growing up.

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[author title=”About Cory Huffman” image=”″]Cory Huffman teaches English and social studies in Southern Indiana. Besides his penchant for good bands and music, he has also written for Indiana on Tap and an avid Cincinnati Bearcats fan. [/author]

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Featured Image Credit:

Gray Scale Photography of Turntable is available at and licensed under the Creative Commons 0.0.


Cory Huffman
Author: Cory Huffman

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