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Hopewell

Purveyors of the new psych-rock scene, Hopewell has been blending vintage fuzz pedal jams with their early space rock and shoegaze roots for over a decade, their 2001 full-length, The Curved Glass, being the perfect, noisy bridge between the epic psychedelia of ‘90s acts like Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev and a newer generation of bands that include Dungen, Dead Meadow and Serena-Maneesh. Now back with their sixth album, Good Good Desperation effortlessly slips from cacophonous dueling piano passages, à la Stravinsky, to the Hammond-driven roots rock of The Basement Tapes, while creating something uniquely its own. From the opening vocal harmonies of "Preamble," which takes cues from the classical compositions of Bach and Debussy, to the CAN-inspired two-drummer tribal attack of "Island," listeners are confronted with expansive sonic images of a band's travels and conflicts. Good Good Desperation inhabits a world where “The Album” is not a lost art, and invites listeners on a journey from dirty downtown New York City scenes to blissful Californian deserts.

In between tours and throughout 2008 Hopewell set out to make a record that more captured their live sound. It was during this time that Jonathan Donahue invited the band to play a 30-minute segment of music on his WDST Woodstock radio program in upstate New York. For this show the group composed a structured improvisational piece, a composition loosely dubbed "The Opus," which would become the progenitor for many of the songs on the album to come. Immersed in heavy doses of bands like This Heat, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music and early tribal Jane's Addiction, Hopewell booked time in local Brooklyn studios Seizures Palace and Seaside Lounge (home to great records from bands like Akron Family, Angels of Light and Psychic Ills) and set about recording their own work.

Good Good Desperation could easily be considered Hopewell’s Meddle or Tago Mago chapter in a lengthy history that includes countless singles and compilations, and opening for My Bloody Valentine on their recent reunion tour, working in the past with producer Dave Fridmann (Flaming Lips, MGMT, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah), recording a Peel session live at Abbey Road Studio, and playing Reading and Leeds Festivals -- all without the help of a large label, manager or booking agent. With Good Good Desperation, Hopewell’s journey continues in a grassroots, homespun sort of way -- down their own noisy path.

photo by Alexandra Marvar


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