Dive into how this wonderful album was made with the people who made it.
Today Lonely The Brave have released their beautiful new album 'The Hope List' via Easy Life Records.
A project over two years in the making, 'The Hope List' signals a wonderful new chapter in the LTB story, with swells of post-rock majesty, arena-suitable choruses and an abundance of heart, soul and passion coursing from every delicately textured composition.
To celebrate, we've asked the band to talk us through the record track-by-track and offer a deeper insight into the thought process and creation of each piece of this incredible puzzle...
Mark Trotter [Guitarist]: "'Bound' really is a statement of intent. It felt like the perfect choice of first song to set out our stall this time around. It was written musically during a particularly turbulent time where depression and anxiety were in full flow. This gave the track it’s light and shade musically. I remember hearing the finished chorus for this first time and just thinking that it was one of the best songs we have ever written. I still do."
Jack Bennett [Vocals]: "Lyrically it’s about hypocrisy. I constantly see little political or social changes people make - whether to fit in or “do their bit for the planet”, while equally doing a million other things that counteract that at the same time. I remember specifically a time where people were focusing on not using single-use plastic straws anymore, because they were worried about the impact on turtles… whilst still eating fish. I just remember thinking how bizarre it was, the message was yet again skewed."
Mark: "'Distant Light' was finished during the first lockdown last March. The track perfectly captures the mood of that time where everything, and everyone, felt so far away, but we had to keep pushing forward in the hope that things would get better. This track carries so much emotion for me personally: Lyrically it resonates so strongly with the loss of a loved one that occurred last year and as such remains one of the most important tracks we have ever written for myself."
Jack: "'Bright Eyes' was a song that came together about the importance of listening. Are we just trying to one up each other? Are we really just pointing people out now? What happened to being conversational?! It’s of the more punk-rock leaning songs we wrote and beyond intentionally punchy. There's a hope it energizes someone."
Ross Smithwick [Guitar]: "One of the shorter, more punchy and in your face songs on the record. We wanted a little banger like this not just for the record but also as it’ll be great in a live environment. Really fun to play. It’s one of the most ‘riffy’ songs we have and wanted to make it pretty dirty. Lots of fuzz and distortion but still a lot of great melodies going on with the guitar lines and the vocal hooks."
Ross: "This turned into an upbeat, poppy song in a very major key which is something that we haven’t really focused on too much in the past. We do like our miserable minor key music! It’s definitely underlined with sadness but it’s got that hope running through it throughout. Got a bit of a 90’s indie rock feel which I like, think it stands out as a bit of a different sound to a lot of our other stuff. Again true to form, big ending. We love that shit. A real head bobber this one."
THE HOPE LIST
Gavin 'Mo' Edgely [Drums]: "Mark had been playing around with the guitar line for this for a while and we didn’t initially know how this one was going to pan out. As soon as Jack sent it over with vocals on I absolutely loved it. It’s as stark as it is beautiful and it feels like a totally different angle for us as a band."
Andrew 'Bush' Bushen [Bass]: "'Keeper' was the first song we fully completed for the album and remains one of my favourites. There’s something about having a new song after a long break from writing which is incredibly exciting, it felt like a real moment. I’d had the bass idea for the verse knocking around in some form for a while, it ended up changing into a more driving style. When we were all playing together it came to life, great ideas for a big, open chorus and the building middle section. Hearing Jack sing the chorus melody for the first time was very special, there’s nothing quite like that moment to motivate and inspire you as a musician. I’m very proud and excited about the album, Keeper will always hold a special place as the beginning of the new chapter."
SOMETHING I SAID
Ross: "I think 'Something I Said' is up there with one of the best songs we have written. I came up with the initial idea verse riff and the idea was to have it much faster, with a more up tempo drum part which Mo soon put a stop to, hah! Now listening to it I can’t imagine it would have ever worked before. Bush and I worked out the bulk of the verse and chorus stuff at Jack's place one morning before we all jumped on it and worked together for the huge end section which still gives me goosebumps every time. I’m so happy with how it came out and will be forever proud of this one. For me it’s that moment where everyone is totally on point and playing the exact right thing that fits perfectly together like a beautiful, musical jigsaw puzzle. The music alone gave me this melancholy, emotive feeling that I’m always searching for but when Jack did his vocals and I heard that for the first time I think I actually shed a tear. Really powerful stuff and emo as fuck. Love it. For me, this is pure Lonely The Brave, what we’re about and what we’re striving for. Music that moves you."
Ross: "This is as close to a pop as song as we’ve got I think which is what I had in mind when I started writing the music many moons ago! The music came together pretty quickly as I remember when we first started jamming it and we really wanted it to be an upbeat, hooky song but one that’s still filled with the emotion and melancholy that we always try to convey. And especially with Jack’s vocal I think we capture that essence. He has such a great ability to write big vocal hooks that are full of emotion.
"This is one of the songs that we were lucky enough practice a lot before recording and it’s such a great one to play. When the end goes off in true LTB fashion.. ah man, can’t wait to play this live too one day!"
YOUR HEAVY HEART
Jack: "Hopefully at some point, we’re able to recognise the definitive purpose of caring about someone else. Your Heavy Heart is the resilience of those stronger than us"
Ross: "We wanted to keep the bulk of this song really stark, with just the intimacy of the guitar and Jack’s close vocal, almost so it’s like the listener is in the room with us. We toyed with lots of ideas like layering lots of other instrumentation but it took the beauty of the song away from it. When the rest of the band kicks in it’s got a very organic, live feel which gives the whole song a real rawness, even though it’s quite a soft song really."
Mo: "One of my favourite songs off of the new record, this. I can remember us trying to figure out how all of these bits we’re supposed to go together and being at my wits end with it and yet the outcome is one of the heaviest and strongest tracks we’ve ever written. It was chosen as the album closer as it feels like it gives the album the crushing ending that it needs, and deserves. A perfect album ender."