Loading the player...

Embed:

Song List

Show Review

Dan Layus isn't exactly a newcomer. If his voice is familiar, you most likely encountered it nestled nicely in between the big productions and full arrangements of his rock outfit, Augustana. Layus notched a decade or so with the band on his belt, eventually growing weary of how comfortable the creative process had become. "I needed to wake myself up a little bit," the Nashville-based songwriter told us during his recent session. When Augustana eventually disbanded, it felt like the right opportunity to pounce on something different; the result of which is his new solo album titled Dangerous Things.

"Essentially, I decided I was going to burn the house down and start from scratch." That meant grabbling with his own creative history a bit, stripping things back significantly to reveal something more honest and vulnerable. "I wanted it to feel more like a true artistic experience," Layus explained. "And in order to do that I had to let go of whatever previous process I had been accustomed to". As a result, Dangerous Things is made up of guitar, pedal steel, fiddle, piano, and other sparse arrangements, all delicately holding both Layus' voice, as well as vocal collaborators, The Secret Sisters.

For his NEXT Session, Layus took that peeling back as far as it could possibly go. What's revealed here are the true roots of Dangerous Things. Three songs delivered over some sparse guitar in a completely empty room (funny story: a construction crew had a punched a hole through our roof while it was raining, so we went scrambling for a different location for this one on the morning of the shoot). Here lies the truest essence of what Layus is trying to accomplish on his new record. Here lies something special.

Transcript

When I grow up, I want to feel like somebody else.
I'm not a newcomer to music.
I originally was in a band called Augustana.
Somewhat similar music, but with this record, I decided to step away from that name and that history a little bit.
And take on a new challenge, and strip back the music, specifically create a little bit more of a vulnerable sound and approach sonically.
And that's been a really interesting and exciting prospect so far.
Don't tell me I can't find out why it hurts to fall.
Don't tell me I can't touch that open flame.
Only got one life to live and I ain't about waste it.
I'll have plenty of time to waste when I'm dead.
I can't help but push until it's broken.
I can't help but kick in doors that ain't open.
I was born for chasing storms.
I think I love the pain.
Because I can't help playing with,
playing with dangerous things.
Don't tell me I can't go on past that warning sign.
Don't tell me I can't find out for myself.
Only want a good story to tell and if I ain't around to tell it,
It's the only story I intend to write.
Because I can't help but drink until I'm spinning.
I can't help but stealing something I ain't getting.
I was born for chasing storms.
I think I love the pain.
Because I can't help playing with, playing with dangerous things.
Don't tell me I can't win the game I'm playing here.
Don't tell me that I'm losing everything.
I know I only got hell to pay and the devil's down there waiting.
I'm going to run so far he'll never find out where I am.
Because I can't help but spin until I've got nothing.
And I can't help but try getting something.
I was born for chasing storms.
I think I love the pain.
Because I can't help playing with, playing with dangerous things.
I said I can't help playing with, playing with dangerous things.
I said I can't help playing with, playing with dangerous things.
Yeah, the name of my record is Dangerous Things.
Because I can't help playing with, playing with dangerous things.
It felt imperative to me that I make it more than just a title change on the top of the record.
It needed to be a real...essentially I decided I was going to burn the house down.
Start from scratch.
The things that I instinctively go after, sonically, I wanted to peel those back.
Drums, bass, shakers, keyboards.
All these things, I wanted to peel it back and just do the bare essential necessities of what these songs needed and how I felt that these songs could be portrayed, I think in their most beneficial way.
That's it, yeah.
5 a.m. Bags are packed.
Don't know when he's coming back home again.
Gives his kids a kiss goodbye.
She's holding back the urge to cry, hoping.
Wishing there was something that she could do other than hold him.
Wiped her eyes, said "It's time.
" Under the doorway, she told him,
"Call me when you get there.
Tell me you got there safe.
I'll be waiting right here.
Can't wait to hear you say everything's going fine,
you made it there and you're alive.
You know I'll be missing your face.
See you soon and take care.
Call me when you get there."
She's 17, college bound, doesn't need her dad around no more.
His heart's about to leave his chest.
Crazy how fast they get older.
Seems like it was yesterday that he first go to hold her.
Wiped her eyes, said "It's time.
" Under the doorway, he told her,
"Call me when you get there.
Tell me you got there safe.
I'll be waiting right here.
Can't wait to hear you say
everything is going fine.
You made it there and you're all right.
You know I'll be missing your face.
See you soon and take care.
Call me when you get there.
" Sixty years, side by side, he still feels like he stole her.
Through the best, through the worst, just feels lucky to know her.
"When this ride ends, if you go first," he told her,
"Call me when you get there.
Tell me you got there safe.
I'll be waiting right here.
Can't wait to hear you say
everything is going fine.
You made it there and you're still mine.
You know I'll be missing your face.
See you soon and take care.
Honey, call me when you get there.
Call me when you get there."
I needed to sort of wake myself up a little bit by pulling away from "This is how I need to write a song.
" The process of sitting down on a Monday morning at 9 a.
m.
and saying, "I'm going to write a song now.
" I had done that incorrectly for far too long, I believe.
And so I wanted to feel more like a true artistic experience.
And in order to do that, I had to sort of let go of whatever previous process I had become accustomed to.
It's been a long sort of slow drip into this new space that I'm exploring, and under my own name.
It wasn't like the band broke up overnight and I went and made a solo record.
It's been five years, five-plus years of me sort of slowly transitioning the music and the whole thing into this new decade, so... The response has been fantastic.
Incredibly supportive, yeah.
It's 5:00 and the rain won't stop.
And I feel like a prisoner in my own car.
She's leaning on the sink, trying not to think.
Wondering how much longer we can fake this thing.
We're both giving more than we both get.
And this has been so hard but we don't want to give up yet.
You're in there and I'm out here.
Can't bear to leave.
Can't stand to stay.
So I'm just sitting here, parked in the driveway.
Used to be you and me.
Have a date in the front, kids sleeping in the back seat.
And this driveway was an open road.
Didn't think at the start this was where it was going to go.
We're both giving more than we both get.
And this has been so hard but we don't want to give up yet.
You're in there and I'm out here.
Can't bear to leave.
Can't stand to stay.
So I'm just sitting here, parked in the driveway.
The way things went, it was a long slow death.
Put ourselves in the corner time and time again.
It's hard to say if it's too late.
Did you give up or I drove away.
Can't bear to leave.
I can't stand to stay.
So I'm just sitting here, parked in the driveway.
This house was a home a long time ago.
I don't want to say it but I think we both know.
We're both giving more than we both get.
This has been so hard but we don't want to give up yet.
You're in there, honey, I'm out here.
Can't bear to leave.
Can't stand to stay.
So I'm just sitting here, parked in the driveway.
Ooh, the way it feels to be loved by you.

Artist Bio

When rock band Augustana's original lineup disbanded in earlier this decade, frontman Dan Layus continued recording under that name until now. The Nashville-based musician is set to release his debut solo album "Dangerous Things" on Oct. 21, with the title track premiering below on Speakeasy today.

Layus says the tune came to him one afternoon when he was "stumbling around some chords and the phrase 'I can't help playing with playing with dangerous things' popped into his head after he was exploring some melodies. "I can't explain how or why it happens, but when it does it feels like everything makes perfect sense," he says.

Editorial

About this Video

  • Duration:
  • 14:48
  • Views:
  • 38,152
Dan Layus

© 2017 Baeble Media. All rights reserved.