The Ace of Spades is The Club
New Hope Club
on going back to their roots during the pandemic, newest releases, and their upcoming second album
New Hope Club’s roots rustle like headphone wires under a furniture fort sound booth as music bounces between the group and the couch they turned upside down. Blake Richardson, Reece Bibby, and George Smith, whose music has propelled them across the globe, pulled their way back on copper cables to the core of New Hope Club during the pandemic. In a “behind the song” video for their newest release, “L.U.S.H.,” the group shared that they created the song in Blake’s dad’s house by making a vocal booth from an upside down couch that also doubled as a mattress for the three of them as they huddled together at night in the unheated living room. This was nothing new for New Hope Club, as Blake says, “We lived in a hotel room with three beds for three years. We know each other inside out and we are the luckiest that we get on so well.” Reece adds, “I don’t know how anyone can be alone in this. It’s such a lonely world, so to have each other is the biggest thing we can give to each other. We have so much fun, and we are always joking around. Every plane journey and car journey, we have each other.” New Hope Club’s clover-carved charm is in their friendship, humor, and genuine love for both music and each other. Like the clover emblem, the group is made up of three separate identities that fuse into one at the core, grown from firm roots in Northern England soil.
During the pandemic, NHC were able to create music that is uniquely theirs. George shares, “Over the pandemic, we were working over Zoom. We wrote a song at night from 10pm-2am and we’d wake up the next day and work on the song. Working with Ross [Golan], we were able to pick his brain. That was such a huge learning experience. For him to say that he liked something we had written was so validating.” There is a noticeable difference in the group’s newly released music. They have debuted six new tracks in groups of two- an A side and a B side- and there is a notable consistency, direction, and tone. When asked about their current sound, Reece shares, “We’ve been asked a lot about the change in our sound, but for us it’s not really a change- it’s just getting back to who we are. Instead of changing, it’s more about what’s real and inside of us already. That was a lot of drawing on our inspirations as kids. We didn’t write every song on the first record, but the second one is completely written by us. It’s more real and more personal than ever. We decided to be very open and let people hear that. It feels good to say that this is a record made by us.” Blake adds, “We had so many amazing people working with us [on our first record]. We would take trips to LA and work with a different person every day. But it wasn’t great for finding consistency. We tried all kinds of music. The first album was a collection of all songs that summed us up at that time. This new album is very real and we didn’t want to hold anything back. We spent COVID experimenting- it was so fun bringing back that relationship between the three of us.” There’s a self-assuredness to their newest releases as they have learned to trust the greatest asset they’ve always had- a three person club of best friends and music lovers. For New Hope Club, the club is their ace of spades.
“I don’t know how anyone can be alone in this. It’s such a lonely world, so to have each other is the biggest thing we can give to each other."
There is a vintage, yet modern tone to their newest releases, both sonically and visually. The first release features two sides- “Getting Better” and “Girl Who Does Both” with modern voice distortions that sound as if it is being transmitted through an antique radio. The music video for “Getting Better” has a 1950s Singin’ in the Rain aesthetic with the group wearing classic Old Hollywood-like outerwear by Daniel w. Fletcher. The music video for “Girl Who Does Both” is equally as cinematic with a Sound of Music-like vastness. Both tracks serve as a fitting introduction to the group’s newest era - one that is like an eternal golden hour inundated with boundless beauty, billowing hope, and booming energy. The tracks carry a deep-rooted balmy feeling, one that I can only remember feeling when listening to The Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” for the first time in childhood. When talking about the released tracks, George says, “‘Getting Better’ started the whole project for us. It encapsulates what the new album is embodying. It was like a whirlwind of two weeks when we wrote it and sent it to everyone. We decided it would be the song we’d lead with.” When asked about a favorite lyric he continues, “From ‘Getting Better,’ that first line, really sums up the moment when we wrote that song and how we were feeling. We decided to just have fun and that’s what flowed out. It felt so good at that moment.” The song, like captured lightning in a bottle, is opened on stage and released into the crowd creating an electric live performance - the type of performance that the group strives for. “Girl Who Does Both,” on the other hand, was imagined for an electric setting, but once it lived in that setting, it didn’t breathe the way the group hoped. George shares, “When we wrote ‘Girl Who Does Both,’ we originally saw it as upbeat and electric. We didn’t feel like it was in the right place so we went back into the studio, started a new session, and it became an acoustic track.” That experimentation and confidence to start over is one that New Hope Club is most proud of in their upcoming album.
The next two tracks released were “Call Me a Quitter,” and “Whatever,” two songs that best reflect their honesty and transparency going into their second record. “Call Me a Quitter,” in particular, is based around a conversation that the three had together one night in a cab about long-distance relationship difficulties. Blake says one of his favorite lyrics they have written is in this track; “'Call Me a Quitter' has a lyric, ‘I know, I know she’s becoming part of the furniture,’ and I think that sums up the song in so many ways. You’re getting used to it now. It’s not that brand new couch, it’s just the couch now.” The message in the track is one that does not often grace love songs- it’s about comfortability threatening apathy and maintaining love once it is no longer new. There is a conceptual maturity to their newer tracks marked by their experiences. The music video for “Call Me a Quitter” features their real life partners in a 1950s-esque oversaturated technicolor film aesthetic. The music video for the next track “Whatever” jumps two decades with the flip of the vinyl into 70s roller disco and reverb. Each track finds a setting to tell a story, which Reece says is what he likes about music. When asked about personal songwriting, he says, “From a personal standpoint, it’s the easiest way to write. You have the most content to write about in your own life. You can elaborate on such simple actions. Stepping off a train can be a whole story in our minds. As a fan of other bands, I love when I hear a real story. I just think it’s so cool to get insight on an artist through a song.”
“‘Getting Better’ started the whole project for us. It encapsulates what the new album is embodying. It was like a whirlwind of two weeks when we wrote it and sent it to everyone. We decided it would be the song we’d lead with.”
“'Call Me a Quitter' has a lyric, ‘I know, I know she’s becoming part of the furniture,’ and I think that sums up the song in so many ways. You’re getting used to it now. It’s not that brand new couch, it’s just the couch now.”
The most recently released coupled tracks are “L.U.S.H.” and “Walk It Out,” two songs that hold a heightened energy level. When asked to choose a word to describe “L.U.S.H.,” George picks “saucy,” Blake picks “intimidating,” and Reece picks “urgent.” Reece continues, “It feels desperate. It’s about a song at the start of a relationship and how you’re so obsessed.” Sonically, Reece adds, “The guitar riff represents the song quite well. It’s deep and feels like something is coming. The calm before the storm. That starting riff sounds quite urgent…it wrote itself. It feels quite sexy.” “Walk It Out” has a similar urgency and potency that commands an audience when performed live. These tracks seem to hold the most room for fun like a playground as Blake nearly screams while singing “Walk It Out” on stage. Reece says, “‘Walk It Out’ was my favorite to write and record. It was one of the last songs we wrote on the project and I just remember the whole day was really fun and we got the song so quickly.” Likewise, the “L.U.S.H.” music video was also created almost serendipitously. Reece says, “We wanted to poke a bit of fun at ourselves in the video. We love the idea of getting hyped up for a show and then you get there and there’s only two older people eating their dinner and they don’t care. The whole thing was on film, which is something we had never done. The actor at the start of the video wasn’t meant to have any lines or dance but he turned up on the day and he was INCREDIBLE. He asked us if we wanted him to dance and we were like ‘yeah we want you to dance!’”
While loving the humor in the music video, the group were afraid that the L.U.S.H. MV concept would be a reality when they headlined a South Korean music festival. Blake says, “There were 10,000 people there. We thought no one would show up. We were last on. The whole day we were thinking, ‘maybe they don’t want to see us.’ We walked out and we hadn’t been on a stage that big since a support show.” NHC are wildly popular in South Korea, and still continue to be shocked by it. It’s hard to conceptualize writing songs behind an upside down couch to performing them in front of 10,000 faces who are screaming words that aren’t even native to them. New Hope Club just released a music video for "Walk It Out," showcasing video highlights of their month in Asia. Watch here!
The group are set to release two more coupled tracks before the release of their second album. To stay updated:
New Hope Club Official Website
New Hope Club on Instagram
New Hope Club on Youtube
New Hope Club on Spotify
New Hope Club on TikTok
New Hope Club's Imagined Road Trip