New Hope Club
Back in the summer of 2015, the three members of New Hope Club set off on a musical journey that would soon surpass their wildest expectations. Bound by a zealous obsession with Britpop legends like the Stone Roses and Oasis, Northern England natives Reece Bibby, Blake Richardson, and George Smith spent countless hours writing songs together in their bedrooms, each drawing from the vast musical skills he’d honed his entire life. Within a year of getting their start gigging at local pubs, the trio headed out on tour with The Vamps and quickly scored a record deal, soon introducing the world to their massively infectious yet emotionally honest brand of guitar-driven pop. Along the way, New Hope Club have built a passionate fanbase, a globe-spanning collective whose deep devotion they unfailingly return.
“We’re growing up at the same time as our fans and going through all the same emotions they’re dealing with,” says 21-year-old Reece (Blake and George are both 20). “The only real difference between us and them is we’re putting those emotions into song form, so that they can listen and relate and hopefully feel more understood.”
On their self-titled debut album, New Hope Club document their transformation from unstoppably determined teenagers to world-touring musicians who’ve now taken the stage at such iconic venues as London’s O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire and Amsterdam’s Paradiso (where, as legend has it, New Hope Club fans generated the highest-decibel crowd response the club’s ever witnessed). Featuring all three members on vocals and guitar—with Reece playing bass as well—New Hope Club channels the raw energy of their live set while tracing their remarkable growth as songwriters and artists.
“At the beginning we were just boys having fun—we were so excited to be working on music together,” says Blake. “But over the years we’ve gotten thrown into sessions with so many amazingly talented writers, and we’ve learned how to write songs that have real meaning to us. At the same time we’ve started to find ourselves and figure out what we want from life, and that’s really shaped the kind of songs we’re making.”
Instantly proving the heightened emotional power of their latest material, New Hope Club kick off their full-length debut with “Love Again”: a moody and more darkly charged track that perfectly telegraphs the ache of love lost. “It’s a song about a relationship ending and seeing that person around and wanting to ask them, ‘Don’t you feel like there’s still something there?’” Blake explains. With its hypnotic beats and haunting guitar tones, “Love Again” centers on the soul-stirring vocal performance the trio recorded at Abbey Road Studios—a particularly meaningful turn for a band that’s covered “I Want to Hold Your Hand” at innumerous shows. “We’re the biggest Beatles fans ever, and it was an absolute dream for us to record there,” George points out.
All throughout the album, New Hope Club showcase the graceful acoustic guitar work and impossibly catchy melodies that have defined their sound from the very beginning. To that end, the tracklist includes their 2017 breakthrough single “Fixed,” a longtime fan favorite that makes pop magic out of hopeless infatuation. On songs like “Crazy”—a groove-heavy number that drifts into bluesy terrain—New Hope Club captures the band in a pivotal phase between the blissed-out free-for-all of their early days and the subtle complexity of their most recent work. And for a look into their latest musical evolution, the album offers up a batch of songs incredibly eclectic in scope, encompassing everything from the crowd-rousing rebellion anthem “Permission” to the Britpop-infused “Give Me Time” to the flamenco-flavored “Know Me Too Well” (a spellbinding track featuring a Spanish-sung verse from Mexican singer Danna Paola).
One of the most dynamic and sonically daring moments on New Hope Club, “Let Me Down Slow” finds the band joining forces with Dutch-Moroccan DJ/producer R3HAB for a brilliantly kinetic piece of electro-pop. In the spirit of staying true to their roots, New Hope Club also recorded a stripped-down version of the track, uncovering its essence as a beautifully poignant breakup ballad. “It’s about being with someone for a long time and starting to see the signs that they’re falling out of love with you,” says Blake. “You know how bad it’s going to hurt when they finally do end the relationship, so it’s like you’re saying to them, ‘If you’re going to do this, can you just do it slowly?’”
As they embrace their more experimental tendencies and take greater risks in their artistry, New Hope Club have made abundant use of their outsize musical knowledge: Blake is classically trained in guitar and self-taught on piano and ukulele; Reece took up drumming as a young kid and later learned bass and guitar; and George has mastered eight different instruments (including banjo, piano, and drums). For the band, that knowledge comes from years of purposeful dedication to developing their craft. “When we were younger and still in school, music wasn’t a very cool thing to do,” says Reece. “Most of our friends were out playing football, chasing girls, but we’d spend all our time writing songs and playing guitar. We come from these small towns where people maybe don’t want to see you do well or make something of yourself, and our way of getting out was to just work as hard as we could on our music.”
With the release of their debut album, New Hope Club aim to empower their audience to pursue their own dreams with similar tenacity. “This album comes from a deep place in our hearts, and we hope our fans can see their own lives in it,” says Blake. “And when people hear a song like ‘Permission,’ I hope they say to themselves, ‘They did it, so I can do it too.’ We just want to uplift and inspire everyone, especially as they’re starting to become their own person and figure out what they really want from life.”