“Absence” enters with a three-note synth hook that seemingly stutters between the second and third notes. The simple description of the stuttering sequence doesn't generate any confidence in its ability to hook a listener’s attention. But the unconventionality is part of its effectiveness as an attention-grabber. The attraction soon melds into soothing vocals and steady-journey percussion that further heighten the listener's interest
Synths and vocals define the sound of DYAN, but “Absence” masterfully incorporates a saxophone into its outro. Still, it is easy to argue that the most invigorating moment in the track occurs at 3:24, when an energy surge strikes, triggering a more textured vocalization.
The members of DYAN are Alexis Marsh (singer/guitarist/bassist), Sam Jones (guitarist/synths), and Dan Dorff Jr. (drums/synths). In talking about “Absence,” Alexis explained:
“’Absence’ is about leaving, but not before inquiring about doubt. It could be about being in love with a person whose loyalty is to someone or something else, realizing it, and then you move on. Or holding on to what you want to hold on to, even if it's painful. But maybe you're the person so sure of their belief in an idea, and you feel that splinter or crumble. There is freedom in finding the idea we have of ourselves has altered: I loved this person/thing, and now I may not; I was this person, and now I am not. My changing is not a tragedy. I just have to be ready, to be sure, and then to name it.”
The Facebook page of DYAN identifies a three-city, two-country “hometown” of Winnipeg, MB, Canada; Los Angeles, CA, and Cincinnati. That reflects the unlikely scenario that is the history of the band:
DYAN was started by Alexis Marsh and Sam Jones, a film scoring duo who fell in love, got married...and then, perhaps unexpectedly, got divorced. The growing and healing from those divides fueled the songs on what became the group’s debut album, 'Looking For Knives,' which the two continued to create despite the fraught emotional territory. But the real twist was the addition of the third member: Dan Dorff Jr., whom Alexis had started seeing in the meantime. Born of an old creative partnership, an expired romance, a new love, and an unlikely new friendship, DYAN defies all odds by simply being, and further shatters expectations with poignancy, unity, and optimism.