For as stagnant and out dated as the industry itself is in terms of the business side of things, the music industry is an ever evolving, always changing world when it comes to creation side. Yes, trends exist and they tend to take over the mainstream aspect of what sounds are output, but behind the blur and whirlwind of popularity are scenes and genres that are far from creatively bankrupt. From the mid 2000’s and into the early 2010’s, the post hardcore genre gained traction with a slew of fantastic musicians who lifted the veil on what the genre was capable of, inspiring people everywhere. Due to this, aspiring artists throughout the world picked up instruments and put their own spin on it, resulting in some of the strongest records released within this musical subset. One such act that followed this wave was Australian post hardcore outfit Awaken I Am, who released their debut album Shields & Crowns in 2015. Almost 2 and a half years later, they’re back with their sophomore release in Blind Love, but all is not what you think as they’ve taken quite a different approach this go around.
[tw-toggle title=”About Awaken I Am”]
Genre: Alternative Rock | Pop Rock
Label: Victory Records
Release: September 29, 2017
Connect: Facebook | Twitter
Purchase: iTunes | Google Play | Physical
When it’s mentioned that a band has taken a different approach to their sound and deviated off the path that gained them their initial following, reactions vary wildly. With Blind Love, Awaken I Am had an uneasy mindset when it came to the crafting of their new album as they wanted to showcase the anxiety and pain that deviates from relationships and the potential faults and mistakes they can present. In order to do so effectively, there was not only a desire to shift in a different direction sonically, but also an unwritten requirement as the stylings of Shields & Crowns presented a different layer to the sound that fits best when exploring these themes. The songs found throughout Blind Love are very reliant on crooning vocals with toe-tapping underlying instrumentation and synth-driven atmospheric presentation to bring listeners into their world. Ultimately, this has led to the album coming across as very pop and alternative influenced and even though many tracks have a subtle variance, the lead single and title track “Blind Love” is a rather honest and true representation of the overall package.
Awaken I Am “Blind Love” is from the album Blind Love, available now.
While Blind Love is thematically driven by some of the more common musings found in alternative and pop music, the actual sound can’t be fully boxed into either. The album opener “Walk My Way” is a rather straightforward song but the backing synths add a subtle ambiance behind Adam Douglas’ vocals that further enhance the pain littered in the lyrics. This becomes a mainstay presence in the overall vibe of the record – adding subtlety to each track through different melodies or atmospheric moments thanks to some well-placed programming. It does create for a softer approach in the music, but again, it’s one that truly fits the ideology of the album the more you delve into it. That being said, there are still moments that have a hardened or grittier edge to them, especially in the latter half of the album as the full-fledged instrumental “Be Still” builds to a crashing crescendo and “Naïve” holds nothing back with Awaken I Am exposing the fallacies that relationships can expose.
As Awaken I Am have mostly done away with their more post hardcore stylings, they are replaced with a more sonically infectious sound that is quite pleasing to the ear and will surely find itself lingering in listeners ears for day. This should help ease people into the different approach taken on Blind Love that will surely cause conflict for some as many fell in love with the sound that was more akin to the likes of Emarosa or Hands Like Houses present on the debut. However, this is much better sound that fits with the concept behind the album – one that is about relationships and being blind to another’s fault while also highlighting the struggles to look past mistakes. This was also a necessary change in order to suit the directional shift that Awaken I Am took with their sophomore album, especially in regards to making sure it remained a complete and cohesive package from the artwork present on the front all the way down to the last line on “Wolves”, which at the end of the day is what it excels best at.