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Sadness is an emotion people often attempt to convey and cure through music. The hard truth is however, that 9 times out of 10 it results in a wimpy sod dribbling in mascara and no Chris Martins or Keanes are ever going to change this. Sadness is an emotion so often confused with melancholy, apathy and the generally bleak that any song that comes along in a minor key is often dropped in The Sad Pile. This is just not true. Johnny Cash's version of 'Hurt' is sad, Gorecki's Symphony of Sorrowful Songs is fucking sad, and this, the self-titled debut album by slow-core band Abandon is definitely... sad.

Slowly blooming open with delicate, clean guitar up front and another shimmering way off in the distance, Abandon folds in as it intends to continue for the next hour. Delicacy is the key here, as the three piece tread across glass: frail and attentive. In this opening track ['Wonder'], frontman Umair sings: "I’m not sure if its night or day, if it’s black or grey, what’s true today" A perfect mirror to the image of rising light that opens the record, and equally of the beautiful Rothko-esque album artwork by French artist Magali Ménin.

It's actually Umair's absorbing, honest lyricism that drives for constant listening and re-listening over the course of the record, as words bleed through and tug at the ear, like in 'Flaws': "But my flaws will always be the kind that foolish pride won’t buy". The deeply personal approach to writing has so often been done before, but Umair's writing does come with a deep brand of authenticity that is actually so rare, like a grubby diamond caked in sorrow.

But it's not always in the lyrics themselves that Umair's performance shines through the thick, grey smog of reverberant guitars. No, in fact the indecipherable, distorted performance of 'Not For Who You Are' buzzes amidst the ether and works as a reminder that it's not always the words that are important, but how they sound and how they feel.

In fact, memories and retrospect are arguably the largest themes recurrent in Abandon with 'Constant Reminders' serving as the definitive song on the record. If any of the songs really do convey sadness on Abandon, it has to be 'Constant Reminders'; with quivering guitar and an aching vocal performance, the songs heavy-hitting key changes drop the heart again and again. Umair's lyrics once again bellow in anxiousness and helplessness in a truly perfect reflection of music in lyrics: "Inside my secret domain is everything / I hide from myself for fear of losing you / I won’t be found / fear of losing you"

Abandon's debut album could be criticised as formulaic or repetitive, and it does also seem that the majority of people turn their heads from any record over 45 minutes these days, but you're going to have to prepare yourself for a little investment this time. Abandon is an album made up of eight deep-cuts and no singles. On the surface the songs seem similar, but when you explore the record fully you unveil it's complications, such as in 'A Dark Room Filled With Light' which goes from "auto-pilot" to "in-fucking-sane". In a record where every subtle crescendo builds into a powerful force, you have to focus and then let go - devoting your undivided attention to the depths of these carefully built songs. As with all slow-core this can't be picked up easily and put down after one or two songs. In fact, it could be argued that bands like Coctaeu Twins or Red Sparrowes are not nearly as heavy, emotionally, as Abandon and that this really is an album for dedicated listening and nothing less. By way of example, the album's closer 'White Summer' begins, as will every song on the record, with a slow arpeggiated guitar, but builds into a huge melodic anthem (yes, a fucking anthem) of euphoria and sublime sadness, not unlike something from last year's Implodes album Recurring Dream.

And that's what Abandon are: sublime sadness. The deep emotions you feel but rarely share. It's not the kind of darkness that eats up the torn artist, or the manic depressive, but rather the genuine flare of emotion that hits everyone from time to time. Abandon understand that within every one of us is the capability of joy and misery, and they display with proficiency and respect, how we should all embrace our humanity for better of for worse… and that's what music is really all about, isn't it?

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