Jul 182019
 

Out of tragedy and turmoil, Awaken I Am have released a collection of emotion-filled tracks that are at once beautiful and yet filled with anger, confusion, and heaviness.

Australian band Awaken I Am have gone through the typical band member replacement drama but also have had to endure the worst, when a wrong-way driver took the life of guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley.  The band had just finished a US tour in support of their debut album Blind Love and were due out on the road in less than two weeks.  The band picked up guitarist Jay Sibthorpe and pushed on.  The ep The Beauty in Tragedy is the band’s way of not only paying tribute to Connor but also coming to terms with the senseless nature of the tragedy.  Taylor Larsen (Asking Alexandria and The Word Alive) recorded the ep.

The ep opens up with one of the heaviest tracks in “Kin”.  Start off with some electronica and then bring in the heavy guitar riffs and once those die out the keyboards and bass largely keep things moving along during the verse sections backed by some drum work from Luke McKenzie that adds some interesting texture.  Vocals are incredibly smooth and emotion-filled and to be honest, from a composition standpoint, the song reminds me a bit of something from Linkin Park but with a bit more emphasis on melody and heavier guitars.  Topically the song is addressed to the driver who purposefully drove on the wrong side of the road, so you can imagine the emotion involved.  Not being a fan of this style of music, the emotion in the performances drew me in before I even knew the back story.  This is one of those albums you listen to and think to yourself that there is something authentic here and it keeps your interest. Continue reading »

Apr 252019
 

Awaken I Am have released ‘The Stages Of Grief,’ the brand new video from their upcoming EP “The Beauty In Tragedy”, set for release tomorrow, April 26, 2019. The five song collection plays as a tribute dedicated entirely to their late guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley.

“The love that we all shared with Connor ran so deep,” admits drummer Luke McKenzie. “With such a sudden loss we never got the chance to let him know how much we loved him, how proud we are of him and how we cherished the final times we spent together. This recording was the hardest thing we have ever had to work through and move forward from. ‘The Stages Of Grief’ is self-explanatory, we are working through all of this and finding our way of saying he will always be loved and always missed.” Continue reading »

Mar 142019
 

Awaken I Am have released a brand new video for ‘Kin,’ from their upcoming EP “The Beauty In Tragedy,” set for release on April 26, 2019. The five song collection plays as a tribute to their late guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley, and features the previously released song/video  ‘Dissolution’ with ‘Kin’ and three new tracks dedicated to Oakley.

“What would you say to someone who took a loved one from you if you had the chance?” asks drummer Luke McKenzie. “Part of dealing with the loss of our brother Connor was coming to terms that he was taken from us far too soon and the anger stemming from that. ‘Kin’ was our chance to bring those emotions to the surface and say what we needed towards the responsible party.” Continue reading »

Jan 262019
 

Australia’s alt-rock outfit Awaken I Am premiere their new single, ‘Indifference,’ with details behind their upcoming EP, “The Beauty In Tragedy,” a tribute to their late guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley. Set for release on Oakley’s birthday April 26, 2019, the five-track EP features the previously released song/video ‘Dissolution,’ (watch below) as well as three new tracks dedicated to Oakley. Drummer Luke McKenzie explains, “The last track we had the privilege of recording with Connor was ‘Dissolution,’ he was so proud of it. We shared the same dream with him and we hope to make Connor proud by keeping that dream alive with The Beauty In Tragedy.”

Listen to the new track ‘Indifference’ below.

“Nevermind he was Awaken I Am’s guitarist, Connor was a friend first and foremost. We needed to regroup but it was very difficult, beyond our wildest reach,” McKenzie adds. “During the writing, recording and the lead up process to completing these songs, it forced us to face grief and loss everyday as we worked through it. The release of this EP is our chance to give ourselves and fans something to always remember Connor by while giving us closure to move on to a new chapter as a band.” Continue reading »