Our Feature Album for February | Hope D's 'Cash Only' 05 Feb 2021 An unleash of truth, honestly, and confidence are just some of the words which describe Hope D’s latest EP entitled Cash Only. Debuting her EP and forthcoming single 'Addict' on the 5th of February, the Brisbanite encapsulates a raw integrity which can only be defined through experience- pivotal to her sound and lyrical inspiration. Across eight similar yet contrasting tracks, Hope removes the rose-coloured lens off the listener's eyes to expose them to the truths, cruelties and beauties life has offered her; in a sense, listeners are confrontingly placed to view her perspective from her eyes only. In amongst a tasteful mix of rock, pop, indie and shoegaze, Hope describes the realities of growing up with conservatism, addiction and sexuality- so much so that audiences gasp onto every emotion attached to every note, sharing an understanding of each struggle and euphoria. In her exaggerations, Hope highlights pivotal moments in her life- whether bright or drastically dark- in each song. Her amplification of emotions is used to emotionally connect with her audiences. "I find a lot of beauty in massive exaggeration" (NME, 2021). The lyrics and song to each track written by the 21-year-old artist contradict each other with their meaning. Where one minute listeners are hit with a hard-punching badass-like anthem, they are immediately transported to a nostalgic yet melancholic soundscape. When asked how she as an artist has evolved as a soloist, she responds: ". . .being really new to the music scene when I was 18, I let a lot of reactions get to me. It was very easy to just be disheartened by the crowd not going crazy. And putting your songs out there is so scary. You’re literally taking your journal and your diary and just showing everyone: ‘this is how I feel and this is what I think’. So I’ve learned to just know that if I’m happy with it, that’s all that matters." (NME, 2021). In 'Addict' and 'Miscommunicate', Hope gives us insight into her own life’s flaws, funnily paired with a chilled and somewhat “careless” vibe and tune. Her questions surrounding her own imperfections and her communication amongst relationships with others are emphasised. From this, we immediately travel to the emotional, more intimate aspect of a relationship- one where regardless of flaw, the floods of emotions which spills from love even exceeds unrealistic expectations of relationships. It details a manic and tumultuous relationship which although is filled with passion is toxic. From this, ‘Second’ and ‘Common Denominator’ navigate listeners through long, hectic nights out paired with a new yet exciting relationship. In paving her own path and finding her own feet, Hope describes the "treading above water" required to hide her homosexuality in 'Swim', causing anxiety and quenstioning of her own identity. The track, being one of her first singles, acts as a “coming out” to her own identity, and her comfortability with herself and her sexuality. The EP ends with a thoughtful, reflective and shoe-gaze tempo dripping with sadness. Although she accepts her new-found identity and sexuality, her frustrations towards conservatism are depicted through her words. A thoughtfully-written journal culminating a both young woman and artist’s pivotal life-defining moments, Hope D’s Cash Only has become an ode to change, Hope (literally) and a bare truth needed in today’s society.