In August 2013, We Are Augustines announced to the press they were changing their name, after the successful conclusion of a legal dispute. “From henceforth, we are Augustines, not We Are Augustines”, they said.
There then followed a certain amount of confusion.
“Isn’t that what you were called already?” asked the world’s press. “Are you Augustines?”
“Yes, we are Augustines”, said Augustines.
“You just said you weren’t Augustines” pointed out the press.
“No, we are Augustines. But to be clear, not We Are Augustines”, they declared, tidying up the matter admirably. “Any questions?” Augustines continued.
In the confusion, everyone stared at their shoes, no-one said anything, and Augustines was (re)born.
The artists formerly known as “We Are Augustines” and now simply known as “Augustines” (you’re following this, right?) then went to the studio and recorded a follow up to We Are Augustines’ debut album “Rise Ye Sunken Ships”. The album was imaginatively titled “Augustines” in perhaps an unnecessary underlining of the change in band name.
But what of “Augustines”? you say.
“Do you mean the band or the album?” I retort.
“The album” you reply.
“Ah”, I reply. “It’s great…”
Augustines comprise of Billy McCarthy, Eric Sanderson and Rob Allen. Originally from Brooklyn, they are now based in Seattle, Washington. We Are Augustines’ first album showed promise, with good songs and lyrical themes more serious and thoughtful than your average anthemic indie band. This is a band born out of adversity, and the songs bear witness to frustration but remain uplifting musically.
Augustines also boast a terrifically helpful Wikipedia page. It states the band “derived its name from the month of August”. And there goes the tenner I had on it being based on the month of September….
On their second album, Augustines have built on the sound of the first album, and have added extra punch. Produced by Peter Katis (producer of The National) the songs are better than before and it seems like Augustines are producing anthem after anthem. Think Springsteen, The Hold Steady, The National and Arcade Fire. If Mumford and Sons can sell millions of records, just think how many more Augustines might sell. After all, they have better songs, don’t wear waistcoats and they have more than one idea. But there’s more to this band than just their ability to produce sing-a-long anthems like they are an afterthought. This is an album with heart. And strength. And more heart.
Augustines are touring the UK in April and May. The London show is sold out, but there are plenty of other shows across the country. This might just be a great time to see Augustines. Because in a couple of years time those anthems will be filling much larger venues than they are playing on this tour.
Here’s the video for the very stirring “Nothing To Lose But Your Head”.