Fair Trade Services
Release Date: May 22nd 2020
Reviewed by: Joshua Andre
- Wake Up Sleeper
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been surprised and shocked in a good way by a lot of things. Yet one of the things I was shocked greatly by (and this wasn’t in a bad way- not by any means!), was this. That if you listen to Austin French’s debut single “Freedom Hymn”, or any of his other singles such as “Why God”, “Born Again”, “Good Feeling” or “Wide Open”, you probably wouldn’t believe that he was only 24 years old at the time of his 2018 album releasing. Now let’s back up a bit. I don’t know exactly what I was doing when I was 24 years old, but it certainly wasn’t being in the spotlight and having a music career. So Austin has had this surreal life for the past few years- one that I’m sure he didn’t even plan or envision for himself. Therefore I’m also sure that you would probably think that someone that young writing music this profound and heartfelt, as evidenced from many tracks on Austin’s debut album Wide Open; is very rare in the music industry, in any genre. I’d say you’d be right- but Austin’s journey isn’t a normal journey. In fact God has had His hand on Austin for a while now, and the plans He has for him are coming more into fruition than ever before.
Now at 26 years old, Austin, together with his wife Joscelyn, is a full time worship leader and worship pastor at The Avenue Church in Delray Beach Florida, where around 80 percent of the members were recovering addicts. Austin also had his plate full when he became father to two young boys within months of each other. These big impacting moments of his life formed the basis of his inspiration for a few melodies on Wide Open, while now this year we are presented with the follow up single from Austin- a poppy and toe tapping 3 minute melody called “Wake Up Sleeper”. With the world being in such an uncertain time right now due to COVID-19, the world is yearning for inspirational and uplifting music that can encourage and help us make it through the day- and Austin has certainly delivered in terms of catchiness and accessibility here!
Lyrically quite similar to Cory Asbury’s “The Father’s House” in respect to the notion of guilt and shame and everything not associated with Christ being dead and unwelcome whenever we are in the presence of Jesus (which is in fact always!); Austin fervently reminds us of the ever-true fact that Jesus is the one we can cling to whenever we need a helping hand, and whenever we are in times of trouble. As Jesus emphatically relays to us his promise of always being beside us, Austin challenges those of us living deep in the sin that we’re already free from, to ‘…rise up and come out of that grave, rise up in that amazing grace, oh sleeper, won’t you come awake? Come awake…’; and though this song musically is very cliché, with musical elements borrowed from Sanctus Real’s “Confidence”, The Afters’ “Fear No More” and Cory’s “The Father’s House”; “Wake Up Sleeper” nonetheless is needed in a time where we all can easily be down and uninspired and unmotivated.
Becoming a star through the ABC reality TV show Rising Star, Austin French is still a new-ish artist to keep an eye out for. With “Wake Up Sleeper” becoming a favourite of mine for the entire year thus far every time I listen; this new single is sure to take the world by storm and impact the lives and hearts of many. So what are you guys waiting for? Check out “Wake Up Sleeper” and marvel at the wonder of Austin’s heart for Jesus and passion for worship!
RIYL: Finding Favour, Danny Gokey, 33 Miles, FEE, Casting Crowns, MercyMe, Selah, Israel Houghton