The inimitable Holding Absence have released a new single in the lead-up to the release of their self-titled debut album (8th of March). “You Are Everything” is yet another reason to be very excited about the album on the way, as well as serving as a visual capture of the world of the Welsh quintet.
Beginning perhaps from a place of wondering if anyone was listening at all, Holding Absence have found a home in the hearts of many. The band of Lucas Woodland (vocals), James Joseph (bass), Ashley Green (drums), Scott Carey (guitar), and Chris Smitheram (guitar) continually demonstrate their appreciation for their fans, never taking the support they receive for granted. This connection has extended to the band seeking (and using!) fan feedback on things like merch options, as well as open discussions about preferences with music.
Slowly but surely, the Holding Absence movement has grown (and continues to!). The resulting community offering a belonging as well as affirming to the band that the “blood, sweat and tears” they’ve shed in the process of creating their music has been worth it. But this is only a fraction of what goes on within “You Are Everything”.
“Realise you’re enough. You are everything.”
From first listen, the new track had me in tears. It’s an intense and multi-faceted look at the life of a passionately creative person, as well as a reassurance and a reaching out. Frontman Lucas hasn’t been shy with his struggles of mental health, and we can hear elements of suicide contemplation in other pieces of Holding Absence’s music. Through the beautifully atmospheric and powerful “You Are Everything”, attention is directed toward the promise that there’s more to life than struggle, and that we can turn things around. For some reason, I felt like I’d already known the song for years.
It was the second verse that ruined me though; where after drinking in “I earned my heart. I’m proud of every beat.” and nodding along with that sentiment of pride swiftly turned into an “oh no” when Lucas sang: “If you hear through the grapevine, that I fell from a great height, The fire in my heart has lived a lifetime. So I don’t mind. No, I don’t mind.” Ouch.
What seemed to be a story of overcoming challenges, and working hard to do so, suddenly seemed to become a suicide note of sorts. Where a statement is outwardly shared to reassure those listening not to be sad. In the aftermath of this, where Lucas continues softly to remind us that he’s here, and that if we can’t find purpose in our every day existence, that we need to remember that we are enough just as we are. This is expressed with such emotional rawness that it hits exceptionally hard.
The music video directed by Bethan Miller has the “You Are Everything” experience hit even harder. Footage of Holding Absence bonding on tour as a band, having hugs and selfies with fans, immersed in connective live shows, fans with lyric and moth tattoos.. it’s all snippets of sweet moments that form a slideshow of meaning. Meaning that the music and the people combined have created together. The statement “You are everything” goes well beyond lip service and forms a double-barrelled shot of gratitude and love for the people who have been part of this journey, with acknowledgement to the ‘beasts we make of ourselves’.
Brb getting tissues. In the meantime, watch “You Are Everything” below. Pre-order Holding Absence HERE.