Band to Watch (and Hear): Hope and Social

By Samuel.
(More stuff from rolling around Bandcamp.)

Whole Album Streaming:

[Official Website | Bandcamp | Myspace]

This time, the band hails from Leeds, England and is called Hope & Social. April, their second full-length album was released this April on their own label, Alamo Record. To further the case for Bandcamp, the album was released on a “Pay What You Want” basis. There’s also a CD available, if you want a physical medium.

I may actually be jumping the gun in making this post, as I haven’t actually listened to the whole album as of this writing. The first three songs were strong enough for me to throw this up here, though. The first song, “April” is a gorgeous and simple song. The lush string quartet that provides the bed for the song is an excellent backing for lead singer Simon Wainwright’s vocals. The song doesn’t need to blow out in a grand orchestral rock fashion, as may be typical of these sorts of songs, instead resting on its own simple elegant beauty to carry.

Second song, “Pitching Far Too High” pulls a 180, becoming a much more typical indie rock song. Electric guitars, organs and blow-out moments paint an almost entirely seperate band from the one introduced by “April,” until 1:40 when those simple strings come back into the song for added texture. These qualities lead to a sort of lighter Arcade Fire sound, which becomes especially evident in the last forty-five seconds when big melodic yells get coupled with added horns  and strings.

“Caught in the Wake’s” best moments come after about 2 minutes, when brief horn parts drop in to augment the sound and then the entire sound drops out save a kick drum, hand claps and Wainwright’s vocals and “Hey!”s. A sax solo comes in when they’re all done clapping and everything explodes back into what it was before. I would want to see Hope and Social live solely for this song, which I can only imagine being incredible.

The whole album is streaming below, conveniently  packed with a download link and everything. After listening to more of it after this writing, I can assure it’s worth the download and a few bucks.

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