Review: Awakening in the Feminist Review

New Awakening review in the Feminist Review

The Feminist Review
SATURDAY, JULY 12, 2008

Sarah Mac Band – Awakening

When was the last time you accidentally stumbled upon an album which quite possibly altered your perceptions of heartfelt music for good? Well, Awakening by the Sarah Mac Band just might do it for you.

Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, the Sarah Mac Band prides themselves in having established their musical collective out of long existing friendships – friendships which are beautifully unique and span generations. Charlie Vanture, Claire Swindell, and Sarah McElhaney released their first debut EP Countdown to Silence in 2006. They later recruited Keli Swearingen (of the late hard rock band, The Audience) to complete their line-up. Together they have created an absolute stormer of an album which displays reoccurring themes of survival and strength.

“Open Fire,” which is the ninth track of a generous twelve, is by far the best feminist anthem I have heard this side of 2008. I have no hesitation in crediting it as the strongest track on Awakening, comprising of emotionally charged lyrics such as “where did you learn that/this was any variation of normal” and “I can’t speak cos I’m so damn angry/I don’t ask much just act like you love me.” The track threw the band into the limelight when Paste Magazine featured it on their CD sampler last May. It has since proven to be popular among fans who appreciate the lyrical ensembles of personal experiences and intense observations.

Claire Swindell, the band’s multi-talented bassist, explained to me in a recent interview that the song demonstrates our human desire for love. The album as a whole overflows with lyrical creativity that reflects the vast emotions that women experience everyday. Claire explained, “We are pretty convinced that one of the most common human desires is to be known. But for the most part, we all live these guarded lives, afraid to let people know who we are.”

The band believes that the concept of ‘awakening’ was a very appropriate way to frame their first full-length album together, and hopes that their brutal honesty contributes to the reasons why people love them. Awakening should be a definite purchase for those who appreciate truly original and heartfelt music.

Review by Ashley Toner

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