The Beauty In Tragedy is the result of loss, heartbreak, and grief. In May 2018, Brisbane’s Awaken I Am tragically lost their guitarist and friend Connor Verner-Oakley in a car accident. Following the accident, the remaining members threw themselves into their music, using it as an outlet for their grieving. With the help of their long-time friend Jay Sibthorpe, they completed The Beauty In Tragedy in a way that would’ve made Connor proud.
Awaken I Am’s overall sound consists of a heavy use of bass, synth, and guitars, all of which combine to form an overwhelming catchy instrumental tone. This is a consistent theme throughout The Beauty In Tragedy, as this powerful instrumental tone matches with the silky smooth vocals to create a clean and constant theme.
Opening up the record with “Kin”, the synth and bass heavy atmosphere puts you immediately on edge. Speaking of the loss of their friend, the music makes you feel their pain despite the catchy aspect to it. The dreamy vocals have an aching beauty to them, in that you can hear the emotion going into the words that they say. The seemingly free-flowing instrumentals have a similar effect, as though they seem upbeat, funky, and incredibly well-polished, when listening you can feel the passion and pain that has gone into it.
Groovy bass-tones flow throughout “By Your Side”, and allow you to have sway and dance as you take in the heartbreaking lyrical content that Awaken I Am are sharing with you. “Dissolution” is the last song featuring Verner-Oakley’s guitar work, and as such is a particularly special one for the band. Although it lyrically is not about Verner-Oakley’s passing, the powerful emotion and passion is also evident in this track. The bass dominates the song, setting a powerful tone. It works with the other instruments and vocals to build up and up until the song reaches its peak, which is followed by an enormous heavy release filled with feelings of pain and regret.
“Indifference” features the most powerful chorus of the EP, and leads perfectly and passionately into the final track. “The Stages of Grief” is an overwhelming piece of music filled with hurt. It speaks of the struggles of loss, moving on, and the idea of time passing. Time is supposed to heal, but for them it doesn’t seem to do a thing? As they sing and share their emotions through the song, they leak pain. You feel their tears as they talk about the difficulty of trying to live their lives without their friends, and as they make you feel all these things the instrumentals work just as hard as the lyrics. The two aspects combine to match each other perfectly, and ensure that this song is the emotional highlight of this EP. A powerful chorus and an enormous closing makes sure that you won’t be forgetting this any time soon.
Awaken I Am fans will not be disappointed with this release, as it features everything they could possibly want. The band knows what works for them, and as a result, they do not stray far from that. Their sound is distinct and powerful, and staying true to that for The Beauty In Tragedy has made for a strong release that they should be proud of.