We’ve featured some amazing female singers on this site over the last couple of years, but the vocal power of Southampton newcomers Reawaken is right up there with the best of them. The five-piece combine high-powered energetic riffs and catchy rock choruses in support of the intoxicating vocal delivery of Meg Parkinson.
Reawaken initially began as jamming duo Matt Gregory (guitar) and Gill Lancashire (drums), who had fun playing songs together and gradually got their friends involved. Nathan Page (guitar and backing vocals) joined as they evolved into a band that started gigging along the south coast in 2013 then Joe Fraser, who attended Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford with Gill, stepped in on bass, before the icing and the cherry were added when Meg joined in November 2016.
They’ve since set about honing a rock sound inspired by bands as diverse as Alter Bridge and Guns’n’Roses through to Coheed & Cambria, Architects and Sum 41, as well as singers like Amy Lee and Ariana Grande. The addition of Meg drew them towards a more alternative rock sound, but the pure power of her vocals add so much more than that. Proof of this is a comment on their Facebook page ‘OMG… where did the lead singer learn to sing… powerful voice,’ so we asked them and they told us: “Meg is primarily self taught in this style of music. She started out as classically trained when she was young and these techniques have helped her developed the voice she has today.”
The band release debut EP Monochrome on 5 October and we have every right to be excited about it, based on what we’ve heard from them thus far.
The EP’s first single Don’t Run, released last Friday, showcases Meg’s vocals perfectly, opening up with huge, high-pitched wails that I guarantee none of you will be hitting in mosh-pits, then dropping into a meandering verse with stabby guitars in support. Drawn-out vocals dominate the chorus, then a big smash of guitars lead into a more intense verse that drops into repeats of “Don’t run away, don’t run away from me.” More powerful vocals kick in and lead into a mini guitar bridge, then a delicious little wah-wah guitar kicks in under more huge vocals.
On the track, Meg explains: “When I wrote these lyrics, I was thinking about driving out of a city into a new place, and then its start raining which is where I wrote the bridge. The whole song is about not being afraid of the future and what lies ahead.”
While previous single If You Only Knew offers an equally enticing glimpse into the Reawaken sound. A light guitar intro continues into a laid-back verse that gradually increases in intensity with stabs of guitar under the line “And I know the fire is burning and I see the tables turning, For the seconds that tick by, For the lives that are full of lies.” A brief silence is smashed to pieces by an almighty cry of “If you only knew that I know” that makes the arms on your stand on end, supported by big guitar chords. It’s truly delicious but at the same time rocky and hard-hitting, and you can check it out in the video below.
Looking ahead to the debut EP, the band tell us: “We’re very excited about releasing the EP. We went into the studio almost a year ago to record it, so releasing it after all this time is very exciting for all of us. We wanted to create an EP that gave people who haven’t seen us live a snapshot into our live shows. Fans can expect a four track EP with each song having its own unique vibe and storyline. Listeners will now be able to hear the Reawaken sound.”
And on what inspires their music they add: “Listening to lots of music or seeing great bands perform live is something we all enjoy and motivates us to pick up our instruments and write new ideas. Past relationships have been a lyrical theme used to fit the vibe of our songs.”
If you like pounding rock riffs and drums with intoxicating, powerful vocals topping it off, then mark 5 October in your diary for the release of Reawaken’s debut EP.
In the meantime they’re playing at Percy’s Café Bar in Whitchurch (near Wrexham) on Friday, then headlining ‘Fem Frontal Racket’ at The Unicorn in Camden on 31 September. More info on their upcoming gigs is here.