‘The Beauty In Tragedy’ is the perfect title for Brisbane based Awaken I Am’s upcoming EP. After tragically losing their guitarist Connor Verner Oakley to the careless actions of a driver attempting to take her own life, Awaken I Am rallied and were able to continue on and record the new record. The EP features the last track that Oakley recorded before his passing ‘Dissolution’, and four songs that serve as a tribute from the rest of the band to their fallen bandmate and brother. Awaken I Am are vocalist Jimmy Alexander, drummer Luke McKenzie, guitarists Ned Jankovic and Jay Sibthorpe, and bassist Ryan Oxford.
First up is the incredible touching track Kin which is dedicated to Connor’s memory, featuring the news report of the accident that claimed his young life, and members of his and his bandmates friends and family in the music video. McKenzie’s drums really form the backbone of this track with the guitars, bass and vocals being the glue that holds them together. “Does it keep you up? I hope that there’s no peace” is the main chorus lyric and really calls out to the person responsible for Connor’s passing, it’s incredibly powerful and Jimmy delivers it with strength and conviction.
By Your Side is next and the thing that stands out the most to me is the guitars. It’s a sweet little riff that repeats throughout most of the track but it just really draws your ears attention. Jimmy has a hell of a vocal range and he gets to show it off here, his tone and clarity are fantastic. The final track that Connor recorded before he died, and released several months ago is Dissolution. It’s one of the stand out tracks on the EP for me, and that’s not just because of the association. Connor’s guitar parts are flawless and it’s clear that he and Ned played really well together.
Second to last is Indifference, and it has quite a different vibe than the three tracks preceding it. Props to Ryan Oxford as the bassline on this one is killer and it intertwines nicely with what Ned and Jay are doing guitar wise. Speaking of guitars, the closing riff is really neat and finishes the track off nicely.
Finally and fittingly is The Stages Of Grief. There is a lot that I could say about this track, but I don’t think anything will actually do it justice. Lyrically it’s incredibly touching with “Trying to find my place in a world that you’re not in” and “What I wouldn’t give for me to take his place” being a couple of the most painful ones to hear. It’s a lovely track to close out the EP, and overall the record is some of Awaken I Am’s best work and I cannot wait to see what they come up with next!
Pre-Order your copy of ‘The Beauty In Tragedy’, out April 26th via Victory Records HERE!