Melbourne’s Aburden are here with their new EP, The Last Goodbye. Having dropped multiple killer singles pre-release, the stage is set for an emotionally powerful release filled with beautifully written lyrics and catchy vocals. But is that what we got? Keep on reading and you’ll see.
Leading with “My Best Friend”, this song is dripping with pain. Begging for forgiveness as they do so, the strong echoing clean vocals linger above the slow seeping piano. Keeping the pace low and the emotion high, this song says so much yet gives so little.
With this Aburden have immediately established an overwhelming atmosphere of brooding intensity. The surrounding sounds are constant, and immerse the listener into the world that “The Last Goodbye” creates. With this the listener becomes truly ready to feel what Aburden feels, see how they see, and cry when they cry, and sets them in the perfect state of vulnerability and openness to experience what is to come.
Carrying the atmospheric and sorrowful surroundings through to “Sorry”, so many aspects are combined to instill this feeling of shared pain into the listener. Shaky yet shattering drums slide with constant combinations of guitar, piano, and bass, creating a monumentally capturing and immersive sound that is a mainstay throughout this entire EP.
Frustration and sadness seem to be the only things the speaker behind the lyrics can feel, as reminiscing over a lost loved one brings nothing but pain. Knowing that they can’t change or fix anything, they suffer with the brutal reality that they have said their last goodbyes. Begging on bloody hands and knees, the gravelly harsh vocals scrape against the cleans like broken glass against concrete, as their drowning unrelenting pleas for one more chance continue to go unanswered.
“I just need a chance to make things right.
To be able to sleep at night, knowing darling I tried to fight.”
Moving guitar melts into melodies, as soft vocals of sickness open up “Don’t Say”. Dark clouds cover any remaining light, while splitting screams of frustration break through solidarity. Stuck in a cycle of never getting better, all they need is someone to understand. Bleeding, broken-hearted, and alone, the music speaks through its intense contrasting vocals and dramatically dreamlike instrumentals to tell this story of mourning.
Loving someone for everything they are can seemingly only end in heartbreak, but they could have never foreseen circumstances such as these. Tearing it temporarily down to the bare bones of their sound, slight guitar and aching harsh vocals unleash the true vulnerability and reasoning behind this excessive pain. Feeling truly broken, the song winds out by powerfully unleashing everything they left unsaid. Everything they held in, everything they could never find the strength to say, it pours out and flourishes with both vocalists belting it out as passionately as they can.
“And I need you to know, that I love every colour you have,
And I’m so sorry that I lacked everything you wanted to have.”
Faster and funkier, “One For You” shows that Aburden can do it all. Taking a more aggressive approach, chugging guitar and dominating harsh vocals portray this frustrated story. An open letter to a lost loved one, it continuously tears apart the uncertainty behind the question of “Is it okay not to be okay?”. Self-blame and a lack of clarity lead an unrelenting attack upon their very soul, tearing them down as they beg for answers. Can they move on? When will they be happy again? Are they even allowed to be happy again? “One For You” explores the anger and suffering that comes with this constant self-torture.
“Need You” speaks of what could have been. In their perfect world they dreams of the two of them flying through the sky, hand in hand, forever present in a moment of pure bliss. As he awakes, reality cruelly breaks his euphoric state with rude awakenings of truth. Instrumentally punchy it is, and as a listener you want to dance despite this overarching feeling of tragedy.
Proclamations of hope come in the form of an echoing dreamlike chorus, courtesy of Kyle Burrows’ clean vocals. Mason Forster’s harsh vocals remind the listener of the hurt behind the melodies, and keeps them grounded, as the anthemic ending cries of “all I need is you” threaten to float them away into another world. Like an orchestra, the band seems to move as a unit as they close out this ironically beautiful song.
“All I dream of is you and me, flying through the night so high.”
Having lost a part of themselves through this loss, “19” speaks of regret. Distant peaceful guitars reflect reminiscing, as slow and soft snare drum hits sneak in with soft vocals to bleed grief. Powerfully personal, the vulnerability and emotion within this song reaches its peak as all other sound disappears apart from Mason’s harsh vocals. Begging for forgiveness and with a shaky voice, intensity rises as pain screeches through each word and addresses the failure of acceptance. As if joined by a choir, the screams meet the cleans and come together to woefully mourn. All the things they left unsaid, all they still wanted to do, they just want them to know that they loved them, and the genuineness of this flows through the music in an emotionally grinding song.
With the penultimate track, “To The Sky”, Aburden speak of lost dreams. They looked out into the sky and all they wanted was to fly. Finding someone to fly with seemed like heaven, and as they stared into those beautiful blue eyes they could see the whole world within them. That filled them with hope, and ignoring what went wrong, “To The Sky” speaks of the beauty of love, and how that feeling can make one simple person feel like the whole universe is within their reach.
“Oh I thought we could have changed the world.”
Continuing like a dream, the soothing clean vocals make you feel like you are floating amongst the clouds. With moody guitar and bass flying at you and heavy yet mesmerising drums building you up, the endless blue of the sky and the breath-taking horizon is all at the tip of a finger, as “To The Sky” makes you feel like you can do anything through its atmosphere alone. In regards to the rest of The Last Goodbye, it fits in as the last glimpses of happiness before the one you love becomes lost.
Closing the EP similarly to how it opens, piano and shrieking vocals release the final ounces of pain within them. Raw screaming and passion bleeds through, and puts the finishing touches on The Last Goodbye, as “My Old Friend” paints an image in your mind. Tears streaming and with a rope around their neck, the speaker releases every frustration and demon they have left. Letting it all out before they end it all. Passionate and painful, this is a fitting end to a journey of an EP.
The Last Goodbye is massive. It’s beautifully written lyrically, and is executed excellently. Vocal efforts from both Mason and Kyle are untouchable, and the emotion both are able to portray as they explore their own vocal potential is special. Instrumentally the entire band has a unique ability of atmosphere, where they can truly immerse you as a listener into whatever song you are listening to on this EP.
Lyrically it tells a story of several different stages of mourning after the loss of a loved one, and effectively makes you feel the raw pain that they are attempting to portray through this music. I had no idea this release would grip me like it did, but this is no complaint by any means. This is a special release, and I look forward to seeing how much success Aburden gain from it.
Incredible sense of atmosphere. Technical yet fluent instrumental work. Incredible talent on display from both vocalists. Beautifully vulnerable and honest lyrically.