The famous Oxford dictionary defines “intensity” as either as “the quality of being intense”, or “the measurable amount of a property, such as force, brightness, or a magnetic field”. A third definition could simply read “Australian band In Heart’s Wake”.
And if you have been lucky enough pre-COVID to have caught the Byron Bay-based and internationally followed melodic metalcore band performing a live gig (in my case a full-house show at Sydney’s esteemed Enmore Theatre during their ‘Ark’ album tour), you will have seen this intensity in action.
Check out one of their videos such as 2017’s ‘Warcry’, or listen to the lyrics of ‘Crisis’ (the latter inspired by Greta Thunberg’s speech to a climate strike rally): the music of In Heart’s Wake is as far from bland wallpaper music as it is possible to be, even when they are being sweetly melodic in songs like ‘Crossroads’.
Fronted by charismatic singer-songwriter and ace filmmaker Jake Taylor, and driven by the powerhouse engine of guitarists Eaven Dall and Ben Naime, bassist Kyle Erich and drummer Conor Ward, In Heart’s Wake are an unforgettable force, much like the nature they are so influenced by. An east coast low swell pounding a Gold Coast beach, an avalanche tumbling its way down a mountain or a bushfire roaring its way through a forest: that’s the energy and intensity this band have greeted the world with since beginning as teenagers in 2006.
‘Kaliyuga’, their just-released fifth album, couldn’t be more aptly named, for as Taylor told BayFM’s Michelle Michels in an interview for the station’s ‘Eco Futures’ show: “Kali Yuga is the fourth age that the ancient Hindus prophesised for the world: a dark age of oppression, disease, cruelty and fear”. But far from seeing our present age as an excuse to do what so many of us increasingly feel like doing – paddling out to sea and not returning, or huddling beneath our doonas and screaming – Taylor and his bandmates see it as a time for both self-reflection and positive action, to create a better future for all.
Not only have the band recently added a local mass tree planting to their impressive record of beach clean-ups around the world, they have taken the truly unique step of minimising the entire production of ‘Kaliyuga’: measuring the 26.37 tonnes of C02 emissions created, then manufacturing and packaging the work plastic free. The band have since offset the emissions by purchasing carbon credits in a reforestation project in Western Australia.
“It was a really cool adventure that we set ourselves on”, Taylor says, “and it didn’t break the band’s budget either. The cost to offset is far less than you’d think: it came into the hundreds”. And with the album already being one of the fastest selling pre-orders in the UNFD label’s recent history, they are showing that while Kermit the frog may have sung “it’s not easy being green”, it’s not that hard either if you are committed to it.
Every viewing of their ‘Worldwide Suicide’ video counts towards their pledge to plant a tree for every 1,000 views: so far the view count has reached over 300,000.
So help our planet by checking it out now below:
IMAGE (C) Sally Patti