Review: Abandon – S/T

This is cited as being a “new, more organic path” for Abandon. “Organic” is a term I utilise often myself in reviews, although it’s meaning is mercurial; it comes to describe different characteristics depending on the context of its application. Within the framework of Abandon’s weaving ivy guitars and slowly flowering songs, it seems to refer to the sense of inevitability and acceptance the guides each track to a natural conclusion. Where 2012’s Monsters felt muddied by emotional cross-tides and colliding trains of thought, Abandon in 2013 exudes a mental clarity that sees each moment occur as the predestined consequence of the one before – it’s an unflinching ingestion of one’s own mirror reflection, rather than a troubled extraction of inference from blurry polaroid shapes. There’s a lightness to the band’s steps here, with tracks like “A Hole That Can’t Be Filled” skip away from moments of darkness into double-timed blooms of major key, exhibiting a previously unseen confidence and affirmation in gesture and direction.

But certain attributes seem inherent to the Abandon pseudonym, and they’re all present again here: plectrum-picked strings woven into steady chord rotations, patient drumbeat glides, gentle streaks of chorus and delay, and vocals that make weary and deliberate climbs and descents. If distortion ever makes an appearance, it carries all of the grit and aggression of a waterfall, hanging behind the outro of “Constant Reminders” as a vapour of complimentary, parallel-running harmony – otherwise, the album stays on a meditative dynamic constant, immortalising the moment at which the downing sun rinses the sky in beautiful amber; a probing of the periphery of unconsciousness and emotional vulnerabilities. The album is a beautiful reflection on a single state, yet where previous records may have taken a more melancholic stance on this – seemingly imprisoned in the emotional blur – Abandon takes the opportunity to exist eternally within the glow of clarity and optimism.