East Canadian country rocker Jeff Hope is back after a near-two decade pause from recording with the forthcoming release of his new album, Fill The Void — available December 31st.
First single up? “No Thing” — a track Hope describes as “a song written from the light-hearted perspective of a guy who wants no commitments and claims ‘no fault’ if the other party feels differently.
“I wrote this song last March while working on my album, as a whole,” the Middle Sackville, Nova Scotia-based artist continues. “It was such a fun groove, I decided to move forward with it ASAP and include it on the record.
“Since then, it’s become one of my favourites.”
As for music in and of itself, the craft as long been a favourite for Hope. At age 17, he was teaching seminars on home recording and working in sound production for local acts on a weekly basis, and a regular on the local country circuit with Smokey Ridge and Little Rock soon after.
His skills continued to stack and the versatile musician quickly found himself a regular member of the Celtic band, Barnacle, and co-founder of the group The Frequency. Hope has recorded with artists including Louisa Manuel, Grassfire, and on Chelsea Nisbett’s ECMA-winning 2008 Gospel album, New Beginnings.
In 2002, Hope recorded and produced his debut album The Show Must Go On, an upbeat, earnest collection of bluesy rock, perfect for ‘cranking up on a drive with the windows down,’ he says.
“I had finished something I felt was monumental to me,” he says, before adding that, in the crush of life — raising a family and running a business — he walked away from recording and performing for what felt like an eternity. It would be two things that would ultimately draw him back in: longtime friend and collaborator Kyle Boudreau tapped him for a new recording, and on a more somber note, his father and musical inspiration, Robert Hope, passed away.
“I decided just to try a track in my home studio,” Hope says, describing gathering his late father’s belongings, and deciding to restring his dad’s old guitars. Feeling the tug of inspiration for the first time in years, he wrote and recorded new material for the building blocks of an album within the 15 days afterwards.
The result is Fill The Void, Hope’s 18-track project he describes as edgy, exciting, light-hearted, and infused with new energy.
“I believe my father was there with me,” he says. “I believe this is a record of ghosts.”
Speaking of… Hope has also re-released The Show Must Go On, now available on Spotify and all major streaming services, as a timely precursor. “They’re two different projects from different seasons in my life, but I’m proud of them both and I think together they tell a story of this journey I’m on, as a musician and as a person.”
“No Thing” is available now. Fill The Void is available December 31st.