Hindsight is a powerful and complex thing, and a phenomenon whose intricacies are explored in captivating fashion on The Greatest Mistake Of My Life, the second album from Cardiffs Holding Absence. Building on the excellent foundations laid down by the bands eponymous debut record, released in 2019, and following standalone singles Gravity and Birdcage, the four-piece have returned with a group of songs that, in the view of vocalist Lucas Woodland, are the truest representation of Holding Absence to date. Inspired by a song of the same name that was recorded in the 1930s by actor and singer Dame Gracie Fields, The Greatest Mistake Of My Life is rooted in a time long before Holding Absence even existed. Lucas great uncle covered the song during the 1950s something the frontman repeats on this album and after finding this out from his grandmother, the singer decided the poignancy of its words were worthy of titling Holding Absences next record.
Holding Absence the band completed by bassist James Joseph and drummer Ashley Green carry the The Greatest Mistake Of My Lifescontemplative and thoughtful spirit throughout their second album. Whereas their debut was a concept record about the subject of love, The Greatest Mistake Of My Lifes inspirations are more complex, as Holding Absence stare down love in the face of death, all the while musing on the vast array of emotions we as humans experience throughout our lives. Lead single Beyond Belief is a soaring epic about the risk of loving someone forever, when their definition of Forever might be different to yours, and a song that, Lucas says, argues how love is something worth taking a risk on.
Holding Absences unique approach to romance is also present on atmospheric tracks like Curse Me With Your Kiss and Afterlife, but for every display of affection, The Greatest Mistake Of My Life counters with despondency. Die Alone (In Your Lovers Arms) tells of the loneliness two people feel within a relationship long-turned sour, while In Circles speaks to the monotony of everyday life and the crushing of dreams. The Greatest Mistake Of My Life soundtracks the journey of our lives via all of its despair, elation, joy and pain, but never once tells the listener how they should be feeling. Shedding their skins and emerging into a bright new phase for their band, with The Greatest Mistake Of My Life, Holding Absence are embracing change whilst holding onto the things that make them special. Aesthetic, for instance, remains important to Lucas and his bandmates, but as seen in the video for Beyond Belief, no longer do they exist in a world of purely black and white colour. Ushering in a colourful new era for Holding Absence, Lucas speaks of a desire to bring warmth to peoples lives. Armed with a stellar new album and an unflinching belief in their craft, this new incarnation of Holding Absence promises to excite and impress like never before. An enthralling collection of songs and stories that tell of love, life, death and everything in between, The Greatest Mistake Of My Life is a thrilling record, and one its creators were born to make. As Holding Absence have proved, the greatest mistakes can sometimes open the door to even greater triumphs.