• Charlotte Claber

LOUDER REVIEWS:'The Greatest Mistake Of My Life' - Holding Absence

Holding Absence bring us their sophomore record The Greatest Mistake Of My Life on April 16th; a record filled with heartache, love and a whole rollercoaster of emotions. It’s nothing short of a Holding Absence spectacular and steps from monochrome on their debut self-titled album into full colour. There’s a theatrical air to an already intense album, something that swings through the videos, the promos and finally to the execution. It elevates the band and shows what they’re really capable of creating even when we’re in a world turned upside down.

Opening the album, awake is a soft and sincere moment, a tranquil bridge towards what’s to follow. Echoing the statement “I’m Alive”, a declaration of pride and something to shout from the rooftops, the album kicks in with Celebration song. Shout it with pride, cry your heart out, do what you need to do but this song (much like the album it sits upon) will have you wanting to fight through darkness and celebrate your happiest and warmest moments. It has a depth musically and lyrically that we’ve heard from Holding Absence in the past, yet it has a new lease of life. Its frequent change in tempo suggests the highs and lows we hit in life, the moments that slow us down but the other seconds that pick us up and have us dashing forward into positive prospects.

Curse Me With Your Kiss rings open with an early noughties emo nostalgia, another side to the band's adaptability, one that has seen them share stages with bands like Counterparts through to Creeper and beyond. It’s that innate sense of genre-bending and fusion that allows the band to be so explosive, paint the room red with their liberating musicianship. There’s a sense of freedom that rings through their tracks allowing the welsh four piece to create something so moving and freeing but so controlled at the same time.

The melodies from their first album linger and step into this new world and have a breath of fresh air in them, allowing tracks like Afterlife to dance to their own beat but be perfectly in place in a catalogue like Holding Absences. There’s something that goes beyond expectations in this track and it’s a stand out for many reasons. Demonstrative and forthright, the emotions pour out of every track, something seen so evidently in Drugs and Love but we visit again later in the album on Die Alone (In Your Lovers Arms), a track that sees Lucas Woodland’s sister step into the feature spot. Breaking the assumptions that a feature has to be an expected name, Caitlin Woodland provides breathtaking vocals to a chill-inducing track. The crime here is not having her credited as a featured artist because she shines through and is a spectacular twist sometimes needed towards the end of an album. 48 minutes and 24 seconds have never flown passed so easily and we start to the descent to finale with the 7 minute, mesmerising Mourning song, the rolling credits to a stellar album taking us on a journey. Scott Carey, Ash Green and Benjamin Elliott complete this album in every inch alongside previous bassist James Joseph, it’s unexpected but daring, a testament to the passion they all have alongside Lucas Woodland; it's everything they have ever dared to dream and create. As you take time to sit and ponder the ethereal moments that you just witnessed, gasp in awe at the cover that closes. Dame Gracie Fields’ The Greatest Mistake of my Life is the title track to the album but it’s also something so perfectly Holding Absence heartbreaking, captivating and everything you want. The true sad boy moment of it all, and yet we are left utterly speechless at everything we have just witnessed.

We don’t do ratings but if we did, this would be a 10/10 because once again, Holding Absence have truly blown us all out of the water and delivered an astounding sophomore album. One to be talked about for a while to come.

We spoke to Lucas Woodland (vocalist) about the record and it’s deeper meanings, catch up with that interview here.

For your first opportunity to catch these brand new songs live, make sure to catch the band on their upcoming UK headline tour.

Headline UK Tour

Oct 28th - Cardiff, Y Plas

Oct 29th - Oxford, O2 Academy 2

Oct 30th - Birmingham, O2 Institute 2

Oct 31st - Sheffield, Leadmill

Nov 2nd - Glasgow, Garage 2

Nov 3rd - Newcastle, Think Tank

Nov 4th - Manchester, O2 Academy 3

Nov 6th - London, Electric Ballroom

The band will also be main support to Creeper throughout the UK in December

Creeper UK Tour

Dec 15th - London, Forum

Dec 16th - Brighton, Concorde 2

Dec 17th - Birmingham, O2 Institute

Dec 19th - Glasgow, Garage

Dec 20th - Manchester, Ritz

Dec 21th - Leeds, Beckett SU

Tickets for all shows are available now through holdingabsence.com