The Hope
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The Hope

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The best kept secret in music


"DiscoveringArtists Review: The Hope: 5 Stars"

How on earth have these girls done it? They've created a unique sound, complete with a haunting backdrop, simple lyrics and mysterious vocals. The entire album is as cozy as a cool fall day cuddled up inside with tea and a blanket. The album starts about strong with "Not About You (The Lament)" which begins with a piano interlude and continues on with Shelby Earl singing, "And there was one thing/One thing I never could explain Letting you go, letting you go/Remorse was one thing/One thing I never could control/Letting you go, letting you go." In "Keep This for Me," Earl sings, "Your last kiss drew more from me/Than I meant to give/How easily we take away everything we live." Combining the sounds of Katie Trotta, Imogen Heap and Maren Ord with a bit of an old-time sound in parts like Billie Holiday minus the jazz, Earl and Katie Freeze are a hot duo that deserves to get noticed.

Favorite Tracks: Keep This for Me, Waiting
Rating: 5 stars -

"OneTimesOne Review: The Hope: 4 Stars"

The Hope
In the Deep

Soulful, piano-driven girl pop can be either transcendent (Tori Amos) or pretentious (erm, Tori Amos). Luckily, the debut album by The Hope manages to be largely the former. By blending diverse elements such as classic-rock guitars and Celtic influences, The Hope takes a tired genre and makes it new.

The Hope consists primarily of Shelby Earl (vocals) and Katie Freeze (piano/vocals), whose musical partnership extends back to 1995 where they created Seattle band Ravenna (no, we’ve never heard of them either). The Hope claim to be influenced by Ella Fitzegerald and Sondheim, but their style is much more modern than that, relying instead on the quirky, literate nature of Suzanne Vega. Except with better tunes.

In the Deep opens with “Not About You (The Lament).” And frankly, a title like that isn’t going to drawn in the fans. It opens as one of the stronger songs but rapidly turns into the weakest as the pleasing Sarah McLachlan vocals turn into an aimless dirge of wailing and, well, lamenting.

It would be easy to dismiss this album as nothing more than melodramatic raging by a pair of folky songstresses. But occasional, little touches help In the Deep rise above. Be it the rock touch of the Dar Williams-esque “Heavens at My Feet” or the trumpet backing of “Something For Audrey,” these moments elevate The Hope to something worth remembering. But it’s the gorgeous masterpiece of this album, “Trying to Reach You,” that blows any “copyist” rumors away. Drenched with Hendrix guitars, it turns into a gothic and mournful rock tune with more atmosphere than Charlotte Bronte mooning about on the heath. Lyrics like “Stretched my arms and laid down/Turned my belly to the ground” have a haunting quality that lingers even as the song finishes. Just when you thought this was an ovaries-only CD, songs like “Trying to Reach You” or even the lush “Wrong Day” serve up the redemption.

However, this is not a genre fond of experimentation. And while The Hope try new things, they also get stuck in new patterns. Every song except one opens with gentle piano chords, and the lyrics get stuck in attempts to be profound (“Agonies over: no more words, no more words/I’m taking your hand”), and the truly dreadful “No Gardens Here” could put a caffeine addict to sleep. But you could have it so much worse, and In the Deep has a style and a grace all its own.

-Emily Tartanella 01/05/06 -

"The Stranger: Up & Coming"


(Tractor) I've spent a fair amount of time swooning over dreamy male vocalists, but local duo the Hope have recently made me bat for the other team. Well, musically speaking, at least. Pretty piano and guitar compositions gracefully beckon the Cranberries and Tori Amos, while co-vocalists Shelby Earl and Katie Freeze perform strong but subtle melodies. Pairing them on a bill with Blue Checkered Record Player, Slender Means' Sonny Votolato's solo project, makes for an evening glowing with lovely local talent. MEGAN SELING - The Stranger, Seattle

"Experimental Folk Singer to Polished Pros: Joshua Schramm and The Hope"

“The Hope” is Shelby Earl (lead vocals) and Katie Freeze (piano, organ, vocals). If their names sound familiar you might know them from their former band Ravenna, which broke up in 2004.

Their album “In the Deep” is beautiful soul-searching pop-rock interlayed with clear, etheral and obvious vocal talent. Their instrumentalization and lyrics exemplify a cohesive theme of letting go, of pain and hurt and of the optimism that things will get better.

It's Eisley (compare the Laughing City EP to the Hope's tracks "Wrong Day" and "Waiting") and Morcheeba ("Trying To Meet You" perhaps?) meet Sarah McLachlan and an early Tori Amos. As personal favorites, "Eye To Eye" and "Waiting" rise above the rest. The final track, "No Gardens Here," display the kind of vocal ability that sends chills. These girls deserve all the good things that are certain to come their way. The album was produced, enginereed, mixed and mastered by Martin Feveyear (Presidents of the United States of America, Rosie Thomas, Mark Lanagan). Feveyear also contributes additional percussion and backing vocals. Other guest and studio musicians include Mark Pickerel (of Screaming Trees) on drums, Noel Paul (Ravenna) and Mike Notter (Shim) on guitars, and Ryan Davis (Mortimer) on bass. -

" Feature: The Hope, In The Deep"

Open Mic, November 14, 2005 · Writing and recording as The Hope, Shelby Earl and Katie Freeze make piano-based pop/rock songs, with expressive vocals and rich instrumentation. They say they draw inspiration from many different musical traditions and genres by artists like Rufus Wainwright, Tori Amos, Ella Fizgerald, Sondheim and more.

In The Deep, The Hope’s debut album, is a collection of 12 songs that share themes of love, loss and searching. Recorded with producer Martin Feveyear (Presidents of the United States of America, Rosie Thomas), the album features a talented group of studio musicians including Mark Pickerel of Screaming Trees. -


2005, In The Deep

Playing on:, KEXP 90.3, KUGS, KZAS 95.1, Rainy Dawg Radio,, and more.


Feeling a bit camera shy


The Hope is Shelby Earl and Katie Freeze, a musical partnership born out of a shared love of melody and words and a fierce loyalty to the craft of songwriting. From their first collaboration in 1995, Earl and Freeze, and all who heard them, knew they had stumbled upon something special. The two founded former Seattle band Ravenna, playing shows and building a loyal following in Seattle. After dissolving Ravenna in early 2004, the two begin work on what would become The Hope.

The strong melodies and elegant lyrics of The Hope’s piano-based pop-rock songs are brought to life by expressive vocals and rich instrumentation. The duo’s varied musical influences range from pop singer/songwriters such as Rufus Wainwright and Tori Amos, to jazz/theater greats such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sondheim.

In The Deep, The Hope’s debut album, is a collection of 12 songs that share the themes of love, loss and searching. Recorded with producer Martin Feveyear (Presidents of the United States of America, Mark Lanagan, Rosie Thomas), In The Deep features a talented group of studio musicians including Mark Pickerel of Screaming Trees. In The Deep is an album of exceptional and extraordinary beauty.