“It’s the wrong dream, with the wrong man,
With a cold gun, in your own hand.
Get it right this time, get it off your mind.
Let the summer rain bring you rest and shame and love.”
Augustana, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt
The random algorithms of Pandora couldn’t know this appears to be one of the rainiest summers on record. It couldn’t know that the first time I heard this song in years arrived on a lonely, rainy evening, and would linger in my ears through a stretch of heat-drenched dry days.
Augustana is one of those bands I will sort of always haphazardly defend. An early 2000s pop rock band that made a splash with a few overly played singles doesn’t necessarily merit favorite status, but I’ve always thought their full-lengths were solid listens. Their songs are knee-deep in sentiment, the guitar lines are simple and clear, and there’s a twinge of middle-of-nowhere folk that goes down easy. Taking the time to listen to “Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt” and mellow out to its laid-back rock, I feel like I am rediscovering a secret, like I am finding the box under my bed I left there years ago. Many of their songs on this record are beautiful and memorable. This one in particular is flooded with patience, even in its sad defeat. All thanks to a nicely curated Internet radio playlist that randomly reminded me of what I wanted to hear.