Lonely the Brave – The Hope List
After nearly four years, the UK group, Lonely the Brave, have released their long-awaited third studio album, The Hope List. The project is an attempt to experiment with a new sound while still staying true to their anthem roots. With alternative tracks incorporating post-rock elements, the work offers exciting new developments for the Cambridge-based ensemble. However, it feels overproduced at points, making the piece an overall inconsistent experience in the band’s widening discography.
Across its eleven songs, The Hope List is defined by big choruses, strong guitar finishes and layered vocals. Opening with the energetic Bound, the album’s subtle tone of optimism is introduced, creating a lightness both lyrically and instrumentally in contrast to what fans may be used to. Open Door and Bright Eyes are both heart-swelling anthems that feel more stadium-ready, constructing a new look at the band. But, ironically, the true gems in The Hope List are the tunes that are reminiscent of their 2015 release The Day’s War. Chasing Knives is a standout track, offering cleaner instrumentals and the best showcase of Gavin Edgeley’s drumming on the entire project, aligning more with the group’s roots. Compared to the nostalgic pieces Chasing knives and The Harrow, numbers like Distant Light and Keeper sound too similar, resulting in occasional monotony.
One of the most exciting aspects of this release is the introduction of the band’s latest lead vocalist. Jack Bennett makes his strong album debut with a gruff voice reminiscent of David Jakes’s style while maintaining a unique flavour that is perfectly oriented with Lonely the Brave’s new direction. However, despite shining moments, Bennett’s striking lyrics are often drowned out by overproduction and heavy-handed electronic layering. This lack of clarity makes it hard to appreciate his technical scope and capabilities fully.
The Hope List is a distinctive shift in the group’s sound and an overall well-done return for the UK-based rock ensemble. However, the album will no doubt be a divisive one for fans, who – after years of waiting – will either love this musical evolution or resent the difference. Either way, Lonely the Brave mark their come back with an unquestionable bang, introducing an exciting new era for their discography.
Picture: Carla Mundy
The Hope List is released on 22nd January 2021. For further information or to order the album visit Lonely the Brave’s website here.
Watch the video for Bound here: