swifty's hq v2.2 > reviews > music > hope

hope against hope

[ Hope Against Hope]
Year 2009
Artist June Lalonde
Genres Electronic, Indie, Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Length Standard, meandering
Tone Liminal, Transitional, Angry, Moving On
Variety ★3/5
Pacing ★4/5
Vibes ★5/5
Fav Track Ghost

okay i've wanted to give a glowing review of june lalonde for so long... so!

hope against hope, for me, is a huuuuugely formative album. it got me through a lot in my final years of high school. i often associate it with walking around the track during P.E., trying to project myself anywhere else mentally. i also associate it with a low period in my life. a lot of bullying, a lot of feeling left out/ridiculed, feeling like i needed to do better, and generally it was just an awful time. but this album really kept me going - it felt like i was being seen, you know? june lalonde's style, and her vocal quality especially, is absolutely beautiful.

unlike my first two reviews, it doesnt have a linear storyline. as her description says, "Recorded in various bedrooms (typically my own) from late '08 to early '09." so, i guess it makes sense that this song is equally patchwork. but that isn't a detriment, in my view. it's a nice blend of various different feelings, situations, and ideas.

its intro track, [perique], always sounded to me like two lovers or close friends fighting, disagreeing, and separating. it made me think of my best friend at the time, who forced me to argue with them constantly even when i did not want to. it filled me with a lot of frustration and anger. thankfully post-graduation i was given a rational reason outside of their treatment of me to actually cut them out.

ahem. anyway. that track is very powerful. i think a very confident start to the album. it segues into [precious stone], which has an equal confidence about it. i enjoy the sound of the vocals on this, and the way it intertwines with the beat. very loud and proud.

[made up lies and stupid day dreams] is another favorite off this album. i recognize my attachment to this song wasn't quite about "the perfect man" i was looking for - though i did have some interaction with comphet earlier in life, i'd gotten over it by the time i heard this album - and moreso my desire to have a close relationship with... well, anyone, platonic or otherwise.

i had a close friend at this time who i still talk to today, but disappeared from my life sometime around 2014. (for the record, i was listening to this in '11-13.) i think this was my first genuine attachment to someone. i don't know that i'd call it romantic - though we've both transitioned, i am still very much a lesbian & i don't believe they are, etc - it was very much the first time i felt like i was cared about by someone at a deeper level.

onwards... i also have to give a shout out to [ghost], which felt like an echo of how i felt more than 70% of the time in high school... very much self-destructive, upset, lonely... so lonely! i usually skip the track now because it reminds me of this period of my life, but it absolutely spoke to me at the time.

i realize this review is starting to be more of a journal entry than a review... whoops. well. what better compliment can an artist have than "this spoke to me in a meaningful and deep way"? i have trouble thinking of anything better.

from there, i think the songs kind of blend together for me.... it feels a bit like this album started with a lot of energy, but gradually mellows out, as if it was tired of talking and just wants to sit in silence for the rest of the drive. which i think is fine. it's a nice 'rest period'.

overall i would say this album has a lot of fun bouncy beats & twangs. it feels very liminal, which, again, makes sense, given that it was made and published after many house-moves. it's definitely an old favorite, though her newer songs are much more vibrant & full of life. i guess transitioning does that to you, as it did to me!