Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

A Cause In Distress lean through melancholy and towards the light on In Search Of Spring

"In Search Of Spring"

Release date: 03 November 2023
A Cause In Distress In Search Of Spring cover
03 November 2023, 09:00 Written by Kate Crudgington

Self-described as the “love child of Nine Inch Nails, Fugazi & Radiohead, if it was fathered by David Lynch,” Southend duo A Cause In Distress inhabit sonic spaces both familiar and far-reaching.

The band aim to overcome internal and external anxieties with their music, resisting the everyday pressures that try to extinguish their creative spark. On their debut album, In Search Of Spring, the pair manage to resurrect feelings of hope from the ashes of burnout, through a poetic mix of yearning vocals, glacial keys, vivid synth textures and energetic beats.

Formed of Liam Watkins and Dominic Robinson, A Cause In Distress have been patiently working together for seven years, crafting genre-blending sounds that traverse uncertain emotional territories. Released via indie label Cool Thing Records and produced by long-term collaborator Rees Broomfield, In Search Of Spring is a culmination of these efforts, which sees the band refine their internal locus of control through atmospheric electronics, driving rhythms and emotive lyrics.

Somber opener “Slugs In Salt (Dissolve)” is the start of this journey, spotlighting Watkins’ clear, distinctive vocals. The band's use of sparse keys compliments the vulnerabilities explored in their lyrics, something which is echoed on “Like A Narcoleptic Falling…” and bookended by the restless energy of “...Asleep”. On “Limbic Smog”, Watkins is able to shroud listeners in melancholy, whilst also releasing extended cries over angular riffs and swelling synths. His dynamic voice helps the record shift in mood and volume - between the jagged riffs of “Paraffin” and the uncertainty of “Modern Commerce” - amplifying the angst and urgency that underscored the album’s creation.

This urgency is especially palpable on “Lumbering” and “Submission”, both of which vibrate with the frustration and desire to move forward when the odds are stacked against you. The record edges into more frenetic territory from here onwards, with atmospheric “Pages Adjacent” elevating the mood, before the intermittent grinding riffs and cymbal smashes of the abrasive “Dead Swans” both hit. The record closes with seven minutes of delicate keys and evocative synth textures on “Buried Hatchet, Long Grass”.

Ultimately, like its namesake, In Search Of Spring leans towards the light, guided by a consistently clear vocal. Despite its melancholy nature, it tentatively acknowledges the importance of hope and growth, knowing that the process to achieve both takes patience and perseverance – qualities that make the music of A Cause In Distress worth lending your ear to.

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