Eastern-Washington's Lanterns of Hope melds pensive lyrics, absorbing guitar playing, and subdued vocals, to create an ambient blend of Indie-Folk and Americana anthems.
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LANTERNS OF HOPE – THERE WAS THIS GIRL: RESTORATIVELY IMMERSIVE INDIE FOLK BLUES
Posted on 18th August 2019
Fans of morose romantic introspective wrapped up in a bed of restoratively light Indie Folk Blues guitar are going to want to turn their attention to the latest release from up and coming Washington-based artist Lanterns of Hope.
“There Was This Girl” was released on July 29th and provides a striking serving of authentic, candid, and captivating slightly vintage sound. The reminiscences which Lanterns of Hope shares with the likes of Leonard Cohen and Elliot Smith amplifies the accessibility of There Was This Girl, yet, plenty of distinction can be found in the raw human emotion which has been poured into the single. Narratively compelling tracks such as There Was This Girl will always be timeless.
You can stream and download Lanterns of Hope’s latest single There Was This Girl for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.
Review by Amelia Vandergast
"Hope's ability to connect with his audience and draw them in makes for unforgettable songs and unforgettable performances."
- Josh Ellis, Pulitzer-Prize nominee
"Joshua is always a memorable surprise of musical talent. Not your typical coffeehouse Singer-Songwriter. Check out his tunes, you'll see what I mean."
- Rainier Billingsley, Outside-In Music Productions
"The EP "Compass" by Lanterns of Hope is about our spiritual journey, in nautical analogy. Earth is temporary, and we are working toward a heavenly goal, using a compass that is not man-made. "St. Peter, he holds the key, for the cast aside and weary." He will be at the gate, welcoming those who have made the arduous journey. Joshua Hope's voice is a bit like Neil Young's, and he sings with conviction." - Laura Hall, KWCW 90.5 FM
LANTERNS OF HOPE - COMPASS - DIVIDE AND CONQUER INDIE MUSIC REVIEWS
Lanterns of Hope
3.8 out of 5
By Dan Weston
Compass is the most recent EP by Lanterns of Hope aka Joshua Hope. The EP picks up where he left on his previous release Harbors in terms of style, tone and aesthetics.
The EP starts off with the title track “Compass” which was the highlight and my favorite song from him thus far. His style feels similar to Arcade Fire when they released Black Mirror. The song starts with guitar and vocals which impart a strong sense of nostalgia, pride and perseverance. Drums enter around the one-minute mark and establish the one change in energy in the song.
“Compass” isn’t the only song that has its moments. Up next is “Deep Blue Waves.” Perhaps the most unique thing is how the percussion controls almost all the energy in the song. Hope belts out a pretty powerful vocal performance.
The classical guitar that starts “Ocean pt. 1” is great. In fact the instrumentation in general is also great with brushes perfectly complementing the guitar work. Up next is “Ocean pt. 2.” I liked this song but it was audibly more lo-fi than some of the other songs. Hope closes with “St. Peter” which is the most melancholy track on the EP and also stripped back to just vocals and guitar. The Celtic influence felt the most overt on this track.
Compass is the strongest EP I have heard yet from Lanterns of Hope. He seems to be defining his sound a little more and the songwriting seems to be at its best. I think there are still some things that could be improved with the recording quality especially the drums.
Overall, I have a feeling this artist is just coming into his own and I excited to hear some more of his work this year.
Northwest Indie Act, Lanterns of Hope Releases their most ambitious EP, “Harbors.”
August 20, 2018
(Isstories Editorial):- Yakima, Aug 20, 2018 (Issuewire.com) – Winter in July was the name of the first label that got Joshua Hope started and landed him his first break with a nationwide distribution deal. After being planted in the Midwest and traveling in ten different states he saw a crossroads calling him back to the Northwest. Joshuas Crossroads seemed like an end but turned into the moments where he eventually penned the bulk of his catalog. After a hiatus, composing and recording his first solo release instrumental album, Lessons in the Wind, Joshua wrote a hundred songs. From 2012-2018 Joshua released several albums and stuck to the
Northwest where he derives a lot of his influence. It is the Americana music in Washington and Oregon that has inspired Joshua to make a new sound with the feelings he evokes. However, the song, There was this girl is a highlight of a file of thirty songs that were inspired by Joshuas previous girlfriend and then-bandmate. It seems that the relationships and experiences in life that dont work out, tend to make the best songs, and Lanterns of Hope has included songs that range from heartbreak to hopeful on each of their projects.
Songwriters reflect on the past to express what they never let go of until ink hits the page, and Lanterns of Hope was birthed from past moments where there was much to let go. Joshuas first single, Circles released on Winter in July in 2003 brought forth the idea that if one can let go, then we can let go together. It was his first experience at a song that poured out what was held onto both in the writing and in lyrical theme. Every session since Circles was a growing point with Circles the emotional foundation.
During his time on the road, Joshua has had his friends accompany him on stage where the line-up has changed from trio to duo to solo and back again. Lanterns of Hope has paid some dues at breweries, showcases, and festivals as well as at Yakimas the Seasons where he is scheduled to return this winter. Although currently solo, Joshua is eager to show the Northwest his latest expression and that is particularly because of the songs that are on Harbors. Influences from Rock to Folk, to Flamenco guitar give Lanterns of Hope a real sound to go with real feelings.
Currently, Joshua has Harbors on Bandcamp, with the album ready to appear on Spotify, and iTunes. Harbors is a moment that he wants to express to the World for a long time.
Musician Q&A: Joshua Hope of the band Lanterns of Hope
By Pat Muir Jan 10, 2018
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Most weeks, SCENE publishes a Q&A with a local band, musician or proprietor of a live music venue. This week we caught up with Joshua Hope, a singer-songwriter who has become a regular on the Yakima scene over the past few years. Here are our Q’s and his A’s.
Band name: Lanterns of Hope
Band members: Joshua Hope, J.R.
Most recent local performance: Off the Record, Nov. 25
Next local performance: Hop Nation, Jan. 19
SCENE: How would you describe your music? Is it loud? Aggressive? Thoughtful? Subdued? Can I dance to it?
Joshua Hope: My music is always acoustic, but some have described it as having the intensity of rock ’n’ roll but in an acoustic setting. I definitely have a lot of upbeat material as well as ballads. With all the singer-songwriters out there, I want to leave an impression with my sound that will stick out. I definitely don’t want to slip into the mundane singer-songwriter cliché that people expect to hear when they think of a singer-songwriter. I want to make a lasting impression when I play.
S: How long have you been playing, and how long have you been playing with the lineup you have now?
JH: I’ve been playing consistently for the last five years or so. Before 2012, I had a couple of side projects; I did one that was neo-classically driven. Before that I was consistent in college in the early 2000s for a few years with a band on a neat indie label called Winter in July Records.
The lineup I have now is a two-piece. It’s myself and my drummer, J.R. We’ve been doing shows with him involved only a year or so now. At first it was a three-piece. We have tried other members and, though they were all good musicians, no one meshes with me quite like J.R. He can anticipate what I’m going to do and adapt to it on the spot on those drums. Joan-Joy had a great connection with me on harmonies, but now it’s just me, and J.R. on drums.
S: Who are some of your primary musical influences and why? Do you sound like them, or is the influence more in terms of attitude and style?
JH: My favorite songwriters are Gregory Alan Isakov and Great Lake Swimmers. I think my stuff is different in sound, but I would like to think that my style and attitude is similar.
S: Is your creative process solitary or collaborative? Do you write songs as a band or does someone bring a fully formed song to the other members and go from there?
JH: So far the writing process has definitely been just me. My drummer has expressed interest in this being a collaborative thing. He has written songs for one of his bands in the past. I discovered, though, when I did a co-write with my harmony singer at the time, Joan-Joy, I really hog the pen. I’d have to learn to let go of the pen.
S: What are you working on now? Are there releases we should look forward to? Tell us about that.
JH: Right now I’m working on a various-artists compilation as part of Songwriter Saturdays at Off the Record. It’s going to be a CD that features artists who are scheduled to play there. We’re calling it “Half of the Hops.” It will also feature my latest single, “St. Peter.” The readers can hear it as well as my other stuff if they follow the link to my band’s page
S: What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened during one of your performances?
JH: Well, my genre is very tame. Not very many crazy things generally happen at my shows. I remember once in my band in college, we were on the road and I remember ending up naked in the van as we were driving to our next destination. I don’t remember what that was all about.
S: What was your first gig like?
JH: My first gig was in the ’90s in high school. My first band did a couple of songs at a dance, you know, a really typical high school function. Not something I’d recommend playing at. I remember my mom was there videotaping. I’m sure I found that videotape at some point years later and threw it in the dumpster. Sorry, Ma.
S: How does your sound now compare to your sound when you first started? Were the changes conscious, or were they more of a natural evolution over time?
JH: I would consider my start being in that college band. We were a rock band with all electric instruments. Our main crowd were kids in high school. Now I play softer acoustic music, our main crowd is in their 40s and 50s. I consider that a good sign that the music has matured a lot since then.
S: If you could open for anyone, who would it be? Why?
JH: If I could open for anyone, a big name would be nice. I think of The Decemberists. I recorded my last single in a studio in Portland where they recorded one of their albums. It would be nice to open for an act like that. Also, an act from Seattle that I admire; it would be nice to open for Vaudeville Etiquette.
S: What do you think about the Yakima music scene? How do you see your role in that scene?
JH: I have been a fan of the Yakima music scene since the ’90s. Early on, my involvement in the music scene was not in the Northwest, so I’m eager to get more involved now that I’m planted here. I want to see if Songwriter Saturdays lasts and I definitely want to do that on top of playing.
I also want to produce and talk to artists about their recording plans. Ideally, I would work next to an engineer and someone for mixing. I would give a young artist advice on how to craft their songs and where to place those songs on their release, which songs are hits, etc. These are things I would like to do long term in addition to playing. I always want to keep playing as well.