Awake Is the New Sleep

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Awake Is the New Sleep
Ben Lee - Awake Is The New Sleep.jpg
Studio album by
Released22 February 2005
RecordedMarch−November 2004
StudioSeagrass Studio
Valley Village, Los Angeles, California, United States
GenreIndie pop
LabelNew West Records (USA)
Inertia Distribution (Australia)
ProducerBrad Wood
Ben Lee chronology
hey you. yes you.
Awake Is the New Sleep
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[2]
Pitchfork Media(2.9/10)[3]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[4]

Awake Is the New Sleep is the fifth album by Australian musician Ben Lee, released in 2005. It reached #5 on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart, becoming his most successful album. It contains the top 40 singles "Gamble Everything for Love" and "Catch My Disease". "Gamble Everything for Love" was also voted number 15 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2004 while "Catch My Disease" was #2 in the Triple J Hottest 100, 2005. The song "We're All in This Together" was used on several television advertisements in Australia and New Zealand, including Coca-Cola and The Salvation Army Community Services. It was later featured in Industry Superannuation fund ad from 2016 to the present.

At the J Award of 2005, the album was nominated for Australian Album of the Year.[5]

In October 2010, Awake Is the New Sleep was listed in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[6]


Before writing Awake Is The New Sleep, Lee traveled to India. It was here that he met Sakthi Narayani Amma, who inspired him spiritually and told him he would succeed if he put the message of joy into his music. This was a turning point for Lee. Having experienced criticism for his light heartedness in the past, Lee felt a renewed need to incorporate joy and happiness into his music. Lee also changed his reason for making music, from creating music to get something out of it to creating music as a way to give to others. All of this greatly influenced the music on Awake Is The New Sleep. [7]

Track listing[edit]

(all songs written by Lee except where noted)

  1. "Whatever It Is" – 3:18
  2. "Gamble Everything for Love" – 3:21
  3. "Begin" – 4:12
  4. "Catch My Disease" (Lee, McGowan Southworth) – 4:14
  5. "Apple Candy" – 3:22
  6. "Ache for You" – 4:05
  7. "Into the Dark" – 2:46
  8. "No Right Angles" – 3:34
  9. "Get Gotten" – 3:07
  10. "Close I've Come" – 3:23
  11. "The Debt Collectors" – 2:50
  12. "We're All in This Together" – 4:39
  13. "Light" – 9:48
  14. "I'm Willing" – 4:01


The singles released from Awake Is the New Sleep exemplify the message of the album: love and togetherness. Listed here are the titles of the singles and a brief description of their content.

  • "Gamble Everything for Love" (2004)

"Gamble Everything for Love" is about the importance of putting love above all else. Its message is that love should be put first in all instances; that love, if you make a point to embrace it, will fulfill all of your needs.

  • "Catch My Disease" (2005)

"Catch My Disease" is a song about embracing Lee's thinking. He sings, "Open your heart, and catch my disease". Due to past criticism of his light-hearted music, this may be interpreted as Lee suggesting that others open themselves up to his music and its message.

  • "Into the Dark" (2006)

The third single taken from 'Awake is the New Sleep'.

  • "We're All in This Together" (2006)

"We're All in This Together" is a song about the connectedness of humanity. Its message is that the things we do affect others.

  • "Begin"

"Begin" was supposed to be released as the fourth single but was replaced by "We're All in This Together". A supposed single version is featured on the 10th anniversary release of 'Awake is the New Sleep'.


  • Ben Lee - vocals, guitar, bass, percussion
  • Lara Meyerratken - keyboards, vocals, drums, percussion, "atmosphere"
  • McGowan Southworth – guitar, vocals, keyboards, percussion
  • Brad Wood - drums on tracks 2, 4 and 7; bass; drum programming; saxophone; vocals; percussion
  • Jason Schwartzman - drums on tracks 10 and 13
  • Eric Gardner - drums on tracks 8 and 12
  • Rob Hann - bass on tracks 8 and 12
  • Chick Wolverton - percussion

Party Vocals[edit]




  1. ^ "Awake Is The New Sleep by Ben Lee". Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  2. ^ Allmusic review
  3. ^ "Ben Lee: Awake Is the New Sleep Album Review - Pitchfork". Retrieved 3 October 2016.
  4. ^ Rolling Stone review
  5. ^ "The J Award 2005". Triple J. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2005. Retrieved 15 August 2020.
  6. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  7. ^ "About". Ben Lee. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  8. ^ Ben Lee - Awake is the New Sleep liner notes. Accessed 6-13-2014.
  9. ^ " – Ben Lee – Awake Is The New Sleep". Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  10. ^ "ARIA End of Year Albums Chart 2005". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  11. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 2006". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 13 September 2020.