A Hope for the Future: Catalonia EP review

A Hope for the Future

Swedish musicians Patric Storholm, Isa Ljungdahl, Filippa Westerlund, Rickard Storholm, Martin Drott, Adam Pärsson and Martin Winberg first met in Barcelona in 2013. It was there and then that they joined forces to become alternative pop ensemble A Hope for the Future. As a band, they draw from a wide range of influences due to the diverse tastes of their seven members, but count acts such as Fleetwood Mac, Belle and Sebastian and Cocteau Twins among their biggest inspirations.

Since forming and releasing their first recordings in 2014, the septet have taken to the stage at a number of venues around Stockholm and several of their nation’s music festivals. Now they’re hoping to bring their work to the attention of the rest of the world through their debut EP, Catalonia.

Based on their experiences while residents of the Spanish city in which they originally crossed paths, the compilation features four offerings starting with the title track. It takes off by fusing together psychedelic synths and purposeful percussion ahead of a jazzy riff and resonant harmony. There’s something inexplicably arresting about its hectic, dream-like rhythm, which makes for an opener that’s as exciting as it is pleasant.

“Groundfalls” follows by way of a slow and steady melody that strolls forward upon some rather trippy musical motifs. The guitars that dominate between verses burst in urgently, adding a frantic touch to an otherwise relaxing undertaking, while the chant of the chorus has a hypnotic effect as it washes through the air.

“Beacon of Light” arrives afterwards with warm and restrained instrumentation that develops gradually behind fast vocals. Becoming more upbeat and eager as it unfolds, it remains a very soft and soothing effort in its entirety.

The disorientating and dreamy synths of “The Door” grab the spotlight next, playing out alongside a bright and busy melody. It strikes a good balance between tranquility and passion as it glides onward at a peaceful pace. The result is quite a progressive finale that takes its time reaching the finish line without ever meandering aimlessly or losing the run of itself.

Catalonia is an altogether easy and accessible compilation that manages to stay serene while conveying a great deal of spirit. Its soft sound and enthusiastic execution should definitely help A Hope for the Future achieve their goal of expanding their audience beyond the borders of their homeland. You can check it out on iTunes now.

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Graduate of NUI Maynooth's Department of English, passionate writer of fiction and creative non-fiction alike. Mad about music, movies and books. If there's anything I enjoy more than listening, watching and reading, it's writing about what I listen to, watch and read! Check me out at davecsimpson.wordpress.com, find me on Twitter @davesimpson1 or drop me a line at dave@puremzine.com