is the new O.C
both in Nielsen-ratings popularity and in its ability to create instant music hype. Just ask London's Vega4
, whose soaring, trembling ballad "Life is Beautiful" a six-minute tune akin to the cuddle-rock of Snow Patrol recently appeared on the show. The rest of the quartet's latest album, You and Others
, follows in the same epic vein, although Vega4's experience working with producer Jacknife Lee and DJ kingpin Paul van Dyk (they were his backing band on tunes from 2003's Reflections
) gives them an intriguing edge. As for headliners Augustana
, don't hold a dis on their "Illinois college town" (a.k.a. Greenville) on a VH1.com
biography against them: The band is finally earning the critical and commercial adoration it deserves for its frankly addicting debut, All the Stars and Boulevards
, which hints at Dinosaur Jr., R.E.M. and Toad the Wet Sprocket.