Lanterns of Hope
“Creating this record has helped evolve my sound by making it more laid back and atmospheric. A lot of the older material was more upbeat and energetic. Still the feel of my songs can borrow from and old songwriting style while adding a more modern layer to it ” – Josh Hope
Not only performing drums on record and live, J.R. also took the helm of co-producer and engineer for the recordings. It wasn’t long after that vocalist Joan-Joy began working with the two singing backup and harmony sections through out songs.
Although Joan-Joy ended up leaving the group, Hope and J.R. went on to track songs for a fresh project. Performing everything aside from drums, Hope focused on the new record as J.R. worked on the production and laid drum tracks. Before long the two dubbed the project Lanterns Of Hope.
The full length 12 track album Upward Over was released July 29th and marked a new chapter in Hope’s musical and life journey.
The first single “There Was This Girl”, based on Hope’s relationship with former band mate Joan-Joy, has already been received with praise and Lanterns Of Hope has moved into booking more live shows as the album begins to reach into radio and press.
“Upward Over is the latest from Lanterns of Hope. It’s also his best release yet which hones in on emotive acoustic based songs that blend Americana, Celtic and indie overtones. The music on this album does what it has done before but perhaps more cohesively. It combines melancholy with an uplifting solace that comes in waves of hope and even motivation.”
“You can hear this on the opening title track “Upward Over.” The music on this song is fairly subdued and consisted of picked acoustic guitar and strategically placed piano. The dynamics come from his vocals and you can hear the Celtic influence when you listen to the chorus.”
“Up next is “Sea Song” which is one of the best songs he has written. This song has a warm melancholy not unlike an artist like Bon Iver. There are warm pads that reinforce nostalgia and solace. Similar to the first song the music is fairly subdued and doesn’t attempt to get too epic sounding.”
“Drums are introduced on “There was this Girl” which add another dimension to his music and is another highlight. The tom drums are like waves in the ocean that give the song energy and urgency. I was familiar with the song “Compass” because it was one of my favorite tracks off his EP. The song definitely gets into epic territory.”
“He keeps that energy going with “The River” which is a fast paced song. I was somewhat reminded of Rusted Root on this track. There are some very intense moments here and percussive elements which crackle.”
“As the album progresses, there were a number of highlights to my ears. The stripped back and very traditional sounding “Narrow Road” was beautifully delivered. It actually reminded me of one of my favorite artists Donovan. “Concrete Heart” was memorable. The vocal melody stuck with me the first time I heard it. I’d also mention that the production sounded at its best on this song. He closes strong with “St. Peter.”
“Upward Over has a flow to it and one of the reasons I prefer to listen to an album from beginning to end. As an album unfolds I prefer an arc similar to a story where it takes you to different shades of emotion and varying degrees of energy. If you are looking for experience like that then you just found it.”
– Dan Weston, Divide & Conquer Indie Music Reviews
“Fans of morose romantic introspective wrapped up in a bed of restoratively light Indie Folk Blues guitar are going to want to turn their attention to the latest release from up and coming Washington-based artist Lanterns of Hope.”
“There Was This Girl” was released on July 29th and provides a striking serving of authentic, candid, and captivating slightly vintage sound. The reminiscences which Lanterns of Hope shares with the likes of Leonard Cohen and Elliot Smith amplifies the accessibility of There Was This Girl, yet, plenty of distinction can be found in the raw human emotion which has been poured into the single. Narratively compelling tracks such as There Was This Girl will always be timeless.”
– A&R Factory
“The EP “Compass” by Lanterns of Hope is about our spiritual journey, in nautical analogy. Earth is temporary, and we are working toward a heavenly goal, using a compass that is not man-made. “St. Peter, he holds the key, for the cast aside and weary.” He will be at the gate, welcoming those who have made the arduous journey. Joshua Hope’s voice is a bit like Neil Young’s, and he sings with conviction.”
– Laura Hall, KWCW 90.5 FM
“Compass is the strongest EP I have heard yet from Lanterns of Hope. He seems to be defining his sound a little more and the songwriting seems to be at its best.”
– Dan Weston, Divide and Conquer Indie Music Reviews.
“Hope’s ability to connect with his audience and draw them in makes for unforgettable songs and unforgettable performances.”
– Josh Ellis, Pulitzer-Prize nominee
“Joshua is always a memorable surprise of musical talent. Not your typical coffeehouse Singer-Songwriter. Check out his tunes, you’ll see what I mean.”
– Rainier Billingsley, Outside-In Music Productions