Wearing the badge of runaways is a statement.
Being disenchanted isn’t abnormal, creating depressive sounds is more than delivering music — it is letting your mind become an unrelenting cannon. Relishing days when you feel normal is like waiting on the next installment of a thrilling novel, a book of truth, paper notes written with belief and encouraging plot lines. Hope is a weird one, dreams even weirder.
Clinging on to these can be the most wonderful feeling, but life throws curve-balls, and hardship creeps through the edges. We become somewhat hypnotized by success, we pray for the world to see us in vibrant colours, we pride ourselves on getting through the obstacles. But, our minds are fragile, and sometimes they break and leak out darkness.
Evaluating your life is frightening. It can lead to torturing yourself and your art. Succumbing to this can cause panic and lead to severe depressive episodes. Loving yourself is fundamental — but it’s so difficult to look at triumphs when anxieties tug at the very heart that beats inside your chest. Welsh band HOLDING ABSENCE drum this into their music in such a superb way.
The cathartic lyricism, and how they channel emotion, is wonderful. Yes, it can seem they’re staging a show in the abyss, but they’re such a unique outfit, catering for marginalized voices and the freaks of nature: simply playing a riff and simply orchestrating a show, such things can aid people in their pursuit of change and a glossier outlook.
The band have recently released their self-titled debut album via SHARPTONE. On this opus, there are tracks which tantalize and entice the listener into the band’s world, a world lit with red alerts. Pessimism is a factor, lost love is also a general topic, bringing everything together and initiating a story-driven extravaganza.
The songs may take time to resonate for some people. But when they do, they’ll offer escapism from the trampings of life. They’re meaningful in a manner where the listener will rapidly subside into a state of thought.
Optimism isn’t a major player here, the album isn’t polished, nor is it a quiet listen. It won’t tinker with the emotions — but lets us see the world differently. Don’t be under any illusion that this record is a serene experience either — it’s a brilliant compendium.
Every song is a well rounded component and pivotal. “Perish” starts the record off. Its atmospheric style has no limits. Lead singer Lucas Woodland bellows words of melancholy and about the constraints of insomnia: “But melancholia… insomnia… saudade – They had me. It’s hard to forget I’m looking back on a time, when every beat in your heart was beating for mine…” These lyrics are innovative and fresh.
“Like A Shadow” is a main fragment of this record. There’s no bliss here, but it’s emotive. The lyrics point at someone lost in the world, and Woodland sings: “The echo of your goodbye, it lingers like a shadow, And how can I make you stay a little longer? Stay a little longer, Stay a little longer…” The dramatic chorus is spellbindingly infectious and the tight, guitar presence, ultimately works.
“Monochrome” is a blockbuster track. A song of grace and virtue, a contribution of broken lust. Lyrically it’s a treat: “All of the time we wasted feels like a life ago, If I failed you, then you’re better off alone, I still see you in monochrome...” This pulsating chorus adds bite and the story bubbles with intensity.
Screams are ever so evident on the release. They add passion and force, and the whole record is drenched in a melancholic rainstorm. And Holding Absence have made a record of emotional significance, sending shock-waves through the music industry. Their music is eventful, those lyrics are the central element, and the brazen instrumentals shudder.
On the cusp of greatness, the band are in touch with their emotions, gradually moving into a dark state of mind. But, we all feel the brush of obscure and murky thoughts.
Natural occurrences can take over our day-to-day existence, but there’s enough poetry and sound to keep the demons at bay for a slender moment.
Words: Mark Mcconville
Holding Absence by Holding Absence is out now