Just when you think you already love and adore Holding Absence, they go ahead and step it up with another release. Completing the Gravity/Birdcage two-track release, the sibling to “Gravity” released today via SharpTone Records.
With distinct absence of a brooding atmospheric instrumental intro, the Welsh band are revealing something relatively fresh for their sound with “Birdcage”. Static and synth encapsulate vocalist Lucas Woodland’s voice from the start, as he ruthlessly wields metaphors that seem destined to destroy sensitive emotional hearts.
Focused on what’s being shared lyrically, we hear the tender admissions of someone being present and attentive toward their love, with flickers of worry. Cold instrumental echoes foreshadow the departure, and interesting retro accents show up in surprise ahead of the chorus, reminding me of Endless Heights‘ exploration of something similar in “Cold Hard Kiss”.
Heavy of mood, yet limping forward regardless, “Birdcage” transports my thoughts toward previous Holding Absence tracks, like “Your Love (Has Ruined My Life)”, “Perish”, and “Like a Shadow”. It’s as though I’m turning weathered pages of journal entries and “Birdcage” is a missing page that had been previously torn out, that we now have access to.
With all of these formerly released metaphor-drenched shares and what’s contained in “Birdcage”, I take from the track the idea of adoration, even while personally suffering. They were as present as they could be with their lover, sacrificing of themselves along the way. And none of that was enough to stop them from leaving.
“I remember the look on your face
And I just couldn’t believe it”
With the earth-shattering experience of the lover’s departure, they took the heart they had possession of, as well as the direction (and perhaps purpose) they provided to the protagonist. And even if it hadn’t seemed like it, there had been attempts to grow and be enough of a person, through the mental ‘debris’ that had shadowed them and their outlook on life.
Holding Absence keep the listener engrossed throughout the track, through the static of severity, and the consumption of disbelief, through to the pensive bridge. It’s a pleasure to swim in the ethereal disconnect. Descriptions of destruction reveal the aftermath, including attempts to reassemble themselves and understand who they are.
Ruined and stuck, “Birdcage” is heart-wrenching and lovely at the same time, and is yet another gem from the Welsh artisans. Listen via your favourite streaming places or via YouTube. I’m honestly stunned that there seems to still be physical copies left, so get in quick HERE.[Bored in isolation? Here’s all the things we’ve written about Holding Absence!]