Awaken I Am

FRESH: ‘The Beauty In Tragedy’ EP – Awaken I Am

Australian band Awaken I Am release a new EP in the face of tragedy.

by Christopher Smith

As their first US tour came to a close in March of 2018, tragedy struck Awaken I Am on their home soil in Brisbane, Australia. On the morning of May 15th, guitarist Connor Verner-Oakley’s 22-year-old life was cut short by the hands of an intentional reckless driver, whose unsuccessful attempt took the wrong life. While in the US, the band was able to cut “Dissolution”, sadly the final recording starring Oakley.

Drummer Luke McKenzie divulges, “Dissolution’ was the last track we had the privilege of recording with Connor, he was so proud of it. We shared the same dream with him and we hope to make him proud by keeping that dream alive with “The Beauty In Tragedy”, their new EP which includes the track “Kin”.

Following the accident, the remaining members of Awaken I Am dove straight into the writing/recording process with producer Taylor Larson (The Word Alive, Asking Alexandria). Apart from two songs written before his passing, all the titles entirely focus as a tribute to Oakley. Some directed towards their fallen brother, others at the responsible party – those songs from those sessions proved to be both cathartic and inspiring.

On the EP’s title, McKenzie adds, “Through all of the pain our goal was to take a completely tragic situation and make something beautiful from it which brought about the name “The Beauty In Tragedy”. Recording this album was a chance to be sad, angry, confused and try to find a way to come to terms with the grief the best we can through music”.

For more about Awaken I Am, check out their WEBSITE and their FACEBOOK page

Don’t forget to follow all the songs featured on our FRESH music feature. Enjoy!

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!
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