We all make mistakes. We all have regrets. We all look back on the loves and losses life brings and lament on how things might have been different. In these deeply personal moments of reflection our emotions can run wild as we contemplate our choices and come to terms with what’s next. 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 Cardiff’s Holding Absence.
Building on the excellent foundations laid down by the band’s 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 Absence’s next record.
Holding Absence – the band completed by bassist James Joseph and drummer Ashley Green – carry the The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’s contemplative and thoughtful spirit throughout their second album. Whereas their debut was a concept record about the subject of love, The Greatest Mistake Of My Life’s 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.
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.