Album Walkthru: Hope D - Clash of the Substance

Album Walkthru: Hope D - Clash of the Substance

Brisbane-based singer-songwriter gives us the lowdown on her highly anticipated debut album

Image credit: James Giles

Following a huge 12 months that saw her playing shows all around the country including GTM, BIGSOUND and Falls Festival, as well as releasing a string of catchy singles, Hope D’s first album has finally been released, with Clash of The Substance coming alongside new single Doormat.

Inspired by all manner of substances, from hormones to intoxicants, Clash Of The Substance sees Hope channel her trademark honesty and emotionally relatable lyrics throughout the record’s addictive blend of indie rock and polished pop.

Known for her wild live shows, Hope will be celebrating the release of Clash Of The Substance by jetting off around Australia for shows in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and finishing off in her hometown of Brisbane (see below for all dates).

With her debut album out today, Hope was kind enough to breakdown the story behind each track on the record - have a listen and get to know below!

Introduction:

Clash of the Substance is a collection of songs that I began writing from 2017. The name of the album is from the chorus of 'Senseless' which we have been playing in the band set since 2020 when I wrote it. I intend the name to come off as mixing different addictive's, specifically during the different experiences I have had in my young adult life. These songs talk about smoking, love, oblivion, drugs, self realisations, greening out, vaping, drinking and of course, heartbreak. I love getting cynical with lyricism and I think that I will continue to do so with anything I create. I think I tend to take nice ideas and thoughts and turn them sour as a way of setting myself up for a calmer fall in a lot of situations. Some of these songs are a lot older and therefore I connect with them a lot less than the newer ones, however releasing them with this body of work is a massive cathartic release, and is also a time stamp to say that I felt a certain way during the period of time that the song was written.

Emerald

I wrote 'Emerald' when I started dating people during my first year out of school, and noticed that everyone was way cooler than what I thought I was. My interests naturally changed as I was freshly 18 and new to the Brisbane nightlife and music scene, but I also forcefully changed to try and impress my love interest at the time. Trying to impress someone is a funny situation in general, turning into a different person made me realise there is no point if we are all trying to be each other. Plus, you end up losing yourself and are left with no genuine personality. I was smoking cigarettes, listening to music and movies that never tickled my fancy, which was great to learn about different things but I shouldn't have pretended to froth them because it lined me up for more experiences that weren't for me. The song is called 'Emerald' because it is a reflection of my partner at the time's name and eye colour. Extremely grateful for everything that occurred at that time, because it taught me to be myself for the long run, even though that is a very generic takeaway. But it is what it is.

Used to Be

I wrote this song after I had a dream that caused me to wake up mid-crying. It was a blubbery, spluttery kind of cry, I was so in shock that you can actually wake up from crying in a dream to being awake in real life with real tears. The dream was about an old dog that died in my arms after saying that they wished they went to the beach more and didn’t get to do a lot of what they wanted as a puppy. I took the concept of me being so emotionally affected by something quite random to my life at the time and applied it to what was actually emotionally affecting me- which was a lot of change and self growth and realisations. One of which was my concept of family and how their old traditions have been difficult to break free from and how hard it is to start those conversations that maybe their traditional beliefs aren't quite right. Specifically, this song Is mostly me talking to my dad. Coming out to him was difficult and also what was to follow with me fitting into my shoes the way that I was comfortable can be so different to how someone else is comfortable in their own shoes. It's kind of like watching a funny movie as a kid, and rewatching it to realise theres so many awful homophobic, racists, misogynist, sexist jokes that you used to laugh as and even repeated when you were young. Confrontation is difficult, especially for my Taurus self . The dog dream sparked all these thoughts, which is why its mentioned. But this song is mainly to do with being strong in your own self and knowing what you believe in and also not harming anyone in the process. I love my dad though, we have come very far since then.

Bagel Song

This is the interlude song before Happy Hangover which features G-flip, Aidan and I all jamming trying to piece a song together before coming up with HH. It started with me screaming about bagels since I just came from my café job where we serve lots of the circular bread delicacies. Then it merges into the voice memo we caught of G singing 'Happy Hangover' which is pretty special.

Happy Hangover

'Happy Hangover' is a song that I co-wrote with Gflip and Aidan Hogg about a big night that I had my first party drug. We wrote it about my experience whenI first properly encountered my girlfriend, and how waking up the next morning was painful in my head, but was so stoked of the fun night I had before.

The song is about fully trippy out with a bunch of new experiences that will later become nostalgic. The lyrics aren't meant to make too much sense, just like the conversations you have when you aren't really on earth on a night like that. Yet they always come back to questioning if this is really happening, because you're having a great time. For me, the memories around that night are one that will always be very highly rated In my lifetime, so I am so stoked that we were able to make the memories into a really fun song.

G, Aidan and I all stood in a studio playing drums, bass and guitar and started jamming to a song that I was freestyling about bagels. (I had just come from work and I really dig the bagels there). I had actually received a message from G saying if I would want to come hang with them and Aidan in the studio and I had to sit in the cold room at work to chill tf out because I was so flustered and excited. SO, we sung about bagels to a rough tune of what Happy Hangover is now, and we actually kept the nonsense I was saying at the very beginning of the song underneath G and I chatting on a 'phone call' saying we were tripping out. After workshopping it heaps, we were left with Happy hangover.

Hate Goodbyes

I wrote 'Hate Goodbyes' in 2018 about a relationship that was constantly ending and starting again. It was difficult to come to the realisation that we shouldn’t be together and just call it off completely, but the thought of that final goodbye was so unbearable that we continuously kept the relationship going after it would end. I would come to terms with the reality that we were only together because it was painful not to be, which caused spirals, emotional shut offs and yet again another breakup. Breaking up and getting back together as often as we did made healing so much harder, and made our growth almost backwards. This song talks openly about my situation, referencing the time frames and specific things that were going on in my life during those points in time. But I think that hating goodbyes is a very understood concept with people, and they can come in any form of relationship dynamic.

Muffin of the Day

This is one of my favorites, it’s a song about hospitality dedicated to hospo workers and about how awful customers can be. I've worked at a café for 2 years, absolutely love it but people who work in these industries truly deserve capes. I wrote this song with Aidan when we were jamming shortly after we wrote Happy Hangover, and it came together pretty quickly. It's a very exaggerated and anger fueled song, but in reality I genuinely love working in the industry. I also have the best working environment with my best friends, and my boss is the sickest. But one day she said 'If you don't know what the muffin of the day is, you're fired.' I came in late one day and a customer asked when my boss was beside me, so I asked her what the muffin was for that day, and she also didn't know either. This kind of sparked the song.

Sound Check

A nice little lead into 'Fragile', it features the 'oohs' that are in Safety nets. It was super fun to create a beautiful bed of sounds with typical mic checking words thrown over it. Just for the record, our soundchecks sound nothing like this.

Fragile

This is a song that means a lot to me. I was in a big writing block, then I wrote Fragile out of nowhere. I didn't connect too hard to the lyrics when I wrote it, but about 6 months after, I realised I was warning myself about what I was subconsciously pushing down. It's about not dealing with your issues, and not realising what kind of impact that it can have on you. I think a lot, and most of the time I don't actually process these thoughts and add them to the vault that I barely open, until I have so much in there that its overwhelming and too late. Its about my school environment which I didn't think damaged me as much as it did. I never really felt like I fit in, and in response I would try and fit a bunch of boxes that did not align with who I was and who I was to become. As well as this, it's about processing past relationships and emotions which I had NEVER done. This caused such a crash with my emotive state and disabled me to connect properly with my partner at the time. Also, I find that I create new problems for myself to solve instead of dealing with what actually needs to be addressed, but once I conquer pointless to-do lists that I create, I feel as though everything is fine and I am okay. This song taught me so much without me even expecting or wanting it to, but I am so grateful that it is on this album, and I have been able to process and grow since writing it.

Cyclone

I wrote cyclone in less than an hour after I had my first beautiful greening out experience with my new friends. It was a long night filled with so many adventures, but I was quite burnt out at the time which absolutely added to me passing out so dramatically. A bunch of mates and I met at a house that later became the first house I moved into out of home. We all pre'd before going to see Cry Club at the Zoo in Brisbane, which was incredible. We all walked for over an hour in the rain after the gig, had a swim at 2 am, got some green and went back to the house. After doing the deed, everyone around me became squishy and sounded like they were talking in a different language. I made the decision to stand up and walk inside. I stood up and said 'I can't hug you all, but I love you all. Goodnight'. I started walking at the slowest pace possible, then grabbed a pole and very slowly passed out in the garden and everyone was watching because they knew I seemed wack. After passing out, I heard them all rustle and chaotically try and pick me up to take me inside to a bed, in which I remained passed out while everyone was freaking out thinking I was dying and had 000 dialed in their phones ready to call. Someone went into the freezer and grabbed a cyclone icy pole, which were Lola's because they just got their wisdom teeth removed and were passed out peacefully in the next room the whole time this was happening. Someone gave it to me and I somehow resurrected and began dancing in response to how good the iceblock was in my now buzzed and safely high state. I will never forget their faces.

Green Out

I got my mates who were there that night to stand in a circle in the studio and retell this story from their perspective, to which we added a bunch of effects and it scarily sounds exactly what my ears picked up in my green out experience. The story doesn't get old for me. I got a tattoo on my left shoulder of my mate Floss and I playing the whisper game which is how that night began. Super wholesome and fun , turned dark green and chaotic.

Senseless

I wrote Senseless after a breakup of a relationship I was in that was nearing its end. I never talked or communicated properly, and these lyrics have the exact miscommunicated/ passive-aggressiveness that come out in a lot of my early songs. I found that I was having so much more joy being high or drunk around my partner at the time than when I was sober, and slowly became solely intoxicated just to be around them, which is so awful. It is a very exaggerated and is probably the most heavy sounding song that I've written, mostly to get the rage out that I felt at the time. This rage was mostly directed at myself for not being able to talk. 'Clash of the substance' is the beginning of the chorus and I liked that line so much that I decided to name the album after it.

Vape Yard

This is a silly little intro to Blue Razz that Aidan and I recorded. I had a 'Vape yard' in my old house, which is just a little shrine for all my used disposable vapes. It was quite a collection.

Blue Razz

I never thought I would be a vaper, in fact I never did it unless I was having a few drinks. This turned into doing it when I wasn't drinking, which turned into vaping in the morning all the way to rolling over in the middle of the night and doing it constantly from there. It's strange to have seen the vaping boom first hand and watch people around me pick up the habit as well. It's a bit of a joke song, but also talks about how it's scary that we don't actually know what the full effects are, yet still don't refrain from doing it. It's also about how we are young and we think we are indestructible, picking up toxic habits especially when we see people around us doing the same. Blue Razz was the first flavour I got addicted to. Now it's mint lemonade.

Doormat

I wrote Doormat after New Years 2022, so it's the newest song on the album. After going through my most recent breakup, I went back to the house I was moving out of and saw there was a party with heaps of faces I had never seen before. My ex didn't invite me (which was fine) but it was so brutal to see all these people in my crumbling home that I fell in love in - with all my things still in it and that I was still paying rent for. We were still on and off, as most breakups play out , so the 'leading on' of that made me hopeful at the time that we could still be together. But I went to this party to grab something from my house, kept my head down and sprinted out of there because the thought of seeing my ex talk to other people was excruciating. I ended up having a really good night but my memory is peppered with constant pain from the thought of her New Years kiss and whatever might come after. I kept so much of these thoughts to myself because I felt worthless and felt like such a burden, so I would just write songs and attempt to process everything alone. This all being said, the breakup was caused by my bad doings and inability to communicate, so I never think badly about her, and I absolutely don’t want my songs to come off that she was a villain. We are on good terms now and I am so grateful to have spent an incredible part of my life with her. After writing Doormat, Brando took it and made it more digestible and I am so grateful for what we collaboratively created.

Safety Nets

'Safety Nets' is probably the only nice love song I have written and will release. I wrote it at the beginning of my 2 year relationship with my most recent partner. It's about first getting together and feeling so euphoric which is terrifying, because of the fear of the potential 'comedown'. I've written songs before with the concept of a 'safety net', which to me is having something to fall back on because heartbreak can be so brutal. In this case, the 'so I'll pretend I don't at all' is the safety net, confining your feelings so the damage may not be as bad. But since this, I have learnt that the love, pain and heartbreak is all completely worth it.

- Hope D, February 2023

Hope D Clash Art2

HOPE D TOUR DATES

CLASH OF THE SUBSTANCE TOUR - TICKET LINK

Supported by triple j, New World Artists + Sunroom

w/ special guests Asha Jefferies and The Dandys

Friday 24 March | Max Watts, Melbourne VIC - 18+

Saturday 25 March | Crowbar, Sydney NSW - 18+

Friday 31 March | Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA - 18+

Saturday 1 April | UniBar, Adelaide SA - Lic/AA

Thursday 6 April | The Triffid, Brisbane QLD - Lic/AA



Follow Hope D: Instagram / Facebook

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