You may not be familiar with indie rockers, Don’t Wake Aislin, just yet but with the release of their self-titled Ep, which just released in July, I think that’s about to change. I discovered this band on Twitter last month and became an instant fan after hearing their pounding rock rhythms and bold lyrics. Listening to their music all I could think was, why have I never heard these guys before? Seriously, Don’t Wake Aislin is one of the best unsigned bands I’ve heard in Christian music. And they are from Dallas, Tx! Oh yeah, we Texans can rock! :)
Don’t Wake Aislin, which is made up of Deena Jakoub, Brandon Brown, Kalen Orr, Jordan Landers, and Guerin Williams, is actually not a new band. They started back in 2004 and have released three Eps. They gained attention over the years by playing at SXSW and at Cornerstone Festival, where they were named favorite show of Cornerstone 2008. When I first saw their name I thought it was a reference to Chronicles of Narnia’s Aslan, but after reading an interview with guitarist, Brandon Brown, on christcore.net, I found out the real (and very cool) meaning of the name, “The name is pronounced Aislin, like MAZE-lin. Aislin is a Gaelic name that means "dream," so the band's name means "don't wake the dream." Essentially, don't give up on the calling in your life, the thing that you're most passionate about.”
The song that first caught my attention was “To Escape the Tempest and Storm”. Just the name of the song alone intrigued me, but I was also surprised to find that it sounded more hardcore than I was expecting. It starts out with pounding drums and a hard rock guitar riff... instantly I found myself rocking along with them. The song feels dynamic and almost anthemic as lead singer, Deena Jakoub, belts out the poetic chorus, “Let’s crack open the sky and light up the world. No one will ever know why the unexpected whirlwind picked up our lives and sent the fire shooting through our hearts.”. Let me just say I think it’s a rare thing to find a female lead singer who can hold her own in a harder band, but Deena totally nails it! Her vocal range is impressive, ranging from soft vocals to powerful screams. And from watching videos of their live performances, you can tell that it really holds up in a live setting. The song ends with a poem/spoken word part that makes the song even more powerful.
The song that really got to my heart though was “Through The Oppression of the Wicked”. I feel like this is a song that girls especially can relate to as it starts off with the line, “Here I am, a pretty weed in a garden of roses and they try to tell me which way to grow”. The beautiful and poetic lyrics speak of the struggle to be who you are in a world that tries to tell you who you should be, and fighting to live out your dreams. This tune has a catchy rock chorus that I couldn’t get out of my head. I feel like Deena’s vocals really captured the emotion of this song; especially the powerful lyrics in the bridge, “I will not meet defeat in the struggle to believe in nothing less than my wildest of dreams. And I will not be laid to rest in this desolate flower bed and the hopeless won’t be helpless here. We’re fighting to be free of fear”.
What I love about Don’t Wake Aislin is the boldness of their music and their message. I couldn’t help but be taken in with their in your face lyrics and powerful rock sound.. They are unafraid to sing about real issues and the light of Christ in such a bold way. Said in an interview on their mission as a band, “To spread the message that God's put on our hearts and to see lives changed through music.” It seems they are doing just that and I can’t wait to see where God takes their music next.