Holding Absence – Saint Cecilia (Track Of The Day, 12th December)

Those cryptic social media posts we’ve been seeing by UK bands Holding Absence and Loathe finally have a reason! The SharpTone Records label mates will be joining forces on This Is As One; a six track split EP releasing on 16th February. This Is As One will feature new tracks from both bands as well as live versions on the vinyl release. The bands will also be touring together to celebrate their combined release.

Our Track Of The Day today is the new track on This Is As One from Holding Absence, “Saint Cecilia”. As we’ve come to expect and appreciate of the Welsh band, the track is powerful (by way of drums, guitars and belting vocals), as well as ethereal and emotional. “Saint Cecilia” feels like a high paced adventure of searching and exploring but with obstacles along the way. It simultaneously captures an ache as well as an expansive passion.

“Here’s the thing… You make my heart sing.”

To be honest, I’ve held off writing about this track because it felt like I was missing something. Historically Holding Absence don’t blatantly hand over the meaning behind their songs. And while I could be wrong, I felt that “Saint Cecilia” being just a simple love song was too straightforward.

It was when I learned that Saint Cecilia was the name of the patron of musicians that I felt like I might finally be ‘getting it’. It’s no secret (in my understanding at least) that Holding Absence have a spiritual element present in their music, and Saint Cecilia relates to the expression of musical talents with a nod to a connection with God. Inspired or divine creativity, if you like.

With that understanding as my lens, “Saint Cecilia” took on the experience of a frustrating relationship with this God-given gift of music. A relationship where music is both an obsessive love:

* “You take me by surprise and sweep me off my feet”
* “Here’s the thing… You make my heart sing”

..And where music also feels like a puzzle where the pieces just don’t seem to work:

* “What is there for you to do when the thing that you live for is dying beside you?”
* “That’s the thing – You break my heartstrings”

It perhaps reflects never quite managing to craft a song which feels like it captures the strength enough of what music means to them; never feels honouring enough of these God-given talents. Especially when things like creative blocks, fears, or hating everything you create get in the way, taking the joy out of the passion and then turning it into a form of torture: Intense desire/pull toward something amazing never comes to fruition.

So to me “Saint Cecilia” reflects a powerful love-hate relationship with this inspiration that never seems to leave (in living and breathing music), yet can’t seem to be expressed perfectly enough. With giving up on even trying to honour it seeming to be the only solution.

Then again, the track could just be a love song about a tricky relationship with a girl named Cecilia.. 🙂

Soak up “Saint Cecilia” with the music video or stream via Spotify. More details on the split release can be found here: https://loatheholdingabsence.lnk.to/WhiteHotSaintCecilia



Kel Burch

Creator and caretaker of Depth Mag, Kel uses her superpowers of empathy, word-weaving, and feeling everything deeply, to immerse herself in music before returning to reality to write about her experience with it. [Loved the read? Shout Kel a latte.]

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