Augustana's music is the heartland equivalent of Coldplay and Keane, with a touch of mid-'90s adult alternative throwback (think Counting Crows or the Wallflowers) also peppering the band's rootsy, piano-based rock. Although based in California, the group formed in southern Illinois in 2002, while singer/keyboardist Dan Layus and guitarist Josiah Rosen were studying contemporary Christian music at Greenville College. The band's original lineup also included bassist Simeon Lohrmann, second keyboardist David Lamoureaux, and drummer Kyle Baker. This lineup released a pair of self-distributed CDs -- the full-length Midwest Skies and Sleepless Mondays and the EP Mayfield -- in 2003, but the conservative climate of Greenville College proved to be too confining for the band's two co-founders. Choosing music over academia, Layus and Rosen left Greenville for Los Angeles in 2004, jettisoning the rest of the band and re-forming with a new lineup that included keyboardist John Vincent, bassist Jared Palomar, and drummer Justin South.