Monday, 16 June 2014

#302: Catching Up With...The Hope Edition (U&I Music Magazine - June Edition)

Manchester is synonymous with bad weather; a perpetually grey city built on industry and with a wholly engrained history of the working class and unemployment. As such, with such limited prospects for the city's youth of the past, the musical output never really glittered with optimism. It may have been poetic, but never pretty, and only when flooded with pills in the late '80s, early '90s did the Happy Mondays dare to cheer up a little bit, followed by Oasis' laddish hope, both lyrically questionable bands. It seems now though that solid lyricism and an irresistible optimism have finally found a pairing in the form of the aptly named The Hope Edition.

Despite forthcoming single 'Tony Adams Vs the World' being their official debut, there's been a handful of recordings online for a year or so now; charming, heartfelt, and at times whimsical tracks that range between spoken word, post-punk and old fashioned indie-pop/twee. What sets the band apart from most however, aside from the inherently sunny disposition, is the intelligence that runs through the lyricism, allowing Manchester to painted in a far more romantic light than it's perhaps worthy of. There's an age old adage that suggests you can't polish a turd, in the case of The Hope Edition however, that isn't true and as images are conjured of kisses on the 192 and sick-stained hotel rooms, you can't help but smile.

Though the band have been described as being similar to both The Talking Heads, and Manchester's own Buzzcocks, it's not easy to pin a direct sound on the band, as each track seems to explore a different aspect of their influences. What is obvious though, is that their previous experience in other bands has allowed a maturity to emerge within their song writing, and though the lyricism might not always be as uplifting as their name suggests, hope seems to be a theme that runs throughout their music regardless, making each track as irresistible as the last. With the post-punky 'Tony Adams...' due for release in June, let's hope the latter half of the year sees The Hope Edition begin to get the recognition they deserve.