Holding Absence continue their solid track-record on ‘Like A Shadow’.
While there’s yet to be any news of a debut full-length album from Holding Absence (good things come to those who wait), the Cardiff act have had a steady drip-feed of singles over the past 12 or so months. More recently, the latest release from this underrated SharpTone Records post-hardcore group is the fast-paced widescreen cinematics of ‘Like A Shadow‘.
As per their solid norm, ‘Like A Shadow‘ is a driving yet spacious, atmospheric track; an emotional and effective song-writing methodology that Holding Absence know how to construct but then also execute superbly well. Musically, I don’t think that’s quite up there with the esteemed likes of their 2017 epic, ‘Penance‘, nor the lead single from their ‘This Is A One‘ split with Loathe, ‘Saint Cecilia‘. But then again, very few other things are. However, don’t count out the well-produced ‘Like A Shadow‘ just yet!
Frontman Lucas Woodland’s strong vocal range and beautiful cadence gets to flex wonderfully here, showing not only great passion but also real control as well. The smooth vocal production and backing synths also spruces things up nicely too, gelling nicely with the cavernous atmospheric vibe this band carves out – along with a fuckin’ wicked bass tone. Also, I’m not sure if this was intended, but I just love how much this band loves to use of black-and-white/grey-scale visuals in their music videos. (Which is exactly the case with this new film clip, directed by Zak Pinchin, showing off their current line-up too). As if the colours used or lack thereof is reflecting the differing shades in their sound and varying emotions their lyrics express. Or maybe it’s just me, who knows?
Speaking of, this new piece seems to be about lingering presences in our lives and us often craving that misery. Of how other people’s actions stick with us long after the blow is dealt and how last goodbyes softly kill us long after they’re uttered; about how these things can hang over us like a shadow but also how sometimes we cannot – or maybe don’t want to – let go of these ever-lasting spectres. ‘Like A Shadow‘ is akin to a yearning yet bittersweet anti-love song of sorts; about asking someone to stay just a little longer to make it work or to be hurt deeper by them, all dolled up with religious language and faith-based metaphors to better set the stage for this burning-at-both-ends relationship (and the song’s) rocky emotional dynamic.
This is Holding Absence, indeed. So go and linger on below:
Header Photo: Bethan Miller.