With a powerful opening of mellow guitars followed by a spoken story of a troubled child, Hawthorne Height’s ‘HOPE’, the quartet’s second DIY EP in a series of three really knows how to play with the listener’s emotions right from the opening seconds. “Sing a song of hope; it’s all I really know” a lyric repeated throughout is a key feature of the song, especially near to the end where harmonised vocals give me chills. With an opener like ‘There was a Kid (Part 2)’, there definitely are high hopes for what is yet to come with this record.
‘New Winter’ shapes the EP into an energetic, infectious record with sing-a-long choruses and guitar lines that make your body naturally want to move. ‘New Winter’ is a perfect song in my eyes, starting with a burst of energy and then bringing back the emotions from ‘There was a Kid (Part 2)’ with an end of piano and sounds of a child’s voice that were also featured in the first track.
Despite the transition from mellow to energetic which happens several times throughout the record, the emotion remains with vocalist JT Woodruff’s raw sounds. His vocals range from soft and smooth to sounding like they are screamed from the top of his lungs, allowing him to the express his sheer passion in areas where it is needed most.
Final song ‘Chemicals’ fades out to those beautiful, mellow guitars that opened the EP, reminding the listener of the powerful message that spreads throughout and ending just how they started: maintaining those initial high hopes that I had for the record.
When listening closely to the lyrics ‘HOPE’ focuses on many of the negative aspects of life but by no means does this have a negative impact on the record. There’s definitely a lot to be said about this DIY EP: this is a risky venture for Hawthorne Heights yet they have managed to release a fantastic record that has allowed them to have complete input and make the record their own. With songs like this, there is already definite excitement for the third instalment of the EP trilogy.
‘Hope’EP by Hawthorne Heights is available now on Cardboard Empire.
Words by Hannah Gillicker