Independent solo artist Juno Hopes has just released a stellar track with a poignant and uplifting message, and we can’t wait to share it with you all. The song is centered around a deeply personal narrative which many people will resonate with—a vignette of a person who is simply struggling to exist. If you need the kind of good cry that washes away pain and leaves you feeling held, this is the sort of art that will move you to that place.
Throughout the course of the song Hopes speaks to their past self with empathy and love, reassuring them that everything will be okay. Touchingly, when you hear them sing “in time, you will learn how to love yourself,” you will feel that they are singing to you too. The result is a dark lullaby that permeates to the depths of your spirit, warming and uplifting you. Furthermore, the music in the song complements these themes perfectly, moving from a profound and heavy feeling to sheer exhilaration.
The track’s most compelling element is an ongoing tension between the verses and chorus, which serves to propel the listener forward within the space the song creates. The pacing is perfect for the subject matter, with every second of the song carrying meaning and tenderness. The beginning of the song builds beautifully towards an unexpected euphoria in the chorus, which makes you feel that they’re taking a high speed rail away from the earth to the stars. This levity is carried through second verse, but the heavier use of percussion here grounds the listening experience. You will feel like you are now sprinting across the moon, liberated. Then the bridge and outro come in, bringing a comforting resolution to the journey you have just taken to the heavens.
The way Hopes accomplishes this perfect contrast in the song is so carefully executed, and much of it lies in coordinated shifts in production and performance between song sections. Naturally, Hopes’ velvety and emotive vocals carry much of the song, directing focus to the lyrical content. True to their intricate production style, they use arpeggios throughout much of the song, shifting in pitch and timbre to fit the mood the lyrics convey. Overall, the instruments in the verses are lower and deeper, which is responsible for the heavy, almost ominous feel in this section. In contrast, the chorus and outro of the song have softer elements in a higher register, which accounts for the twinkly spaciness and euphoria. The vocals echo these shifts, with Hopes’ vocals in the verses being richer in timbre, lower in pitch, and less variable melody. Comparatively, the vocals in the chorus and outro are softer and more delicate, with more harmonic layering. These contrasting sections are woven together seamlessly, creating a song that feels like Imogen Heap wrote a lullaby for The Matrix soundtrack.
While many artists opt for a more abstract and mysterious lyrical style, the meaning here is quite straightforward. The song lyrics are tear-jerking for someone who has struggled with self-love and acceptance in the face of consistent marginalization and pain. Many times listening to this song, I have found found that I actually begin to tear up. Ultimately, the beauty here is not in the in sophistication of the prose, but in the vulnerability Juno Hopes will make you feel as a listener.
Featured Image: Instagram (@junohopes)