Fayth Hope - Out of Obscurity, Pt. 1: From the Darkness

Fayth Hope
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Fayth Hope is from Birmingham. Her EP, Out of Obscurity, Pt. 1: From the Darkness dropped in 2012, and the initial single, “Love Didn’t Mean a Thing” reached number on the “Morpheus Soul Show Top 5 Countdown” out of London. Londoners showed good taste on that one. “Love Didn’t Mean a Thing,” is a simmering amalgamation of percussive soul/funk with some hip-hop swagger that downshifts into a soul/jazz vibe that backs Hope’s extended Aretha styled riff on the transforming power of the love of a good man. So in the course of this five minute song Hope shifts tempos, toggles between genres and serves up a musical rebuke to critics who say modern pop music is simplistic and formulaic.

Fayth Hope is from Birmingham. Her EP, Out of Obscurity, Pt. 1: From the Darkness dropped in 2012, and the initial single, “Love Didn’t Mean a Thing” reached number on the “Morpheus Soul Show Top 5 Countdown” out of London. Londoners showed good taste on that one. “Love Didn’t Mean a Thing,” is a simmering amalgamation of percussive soul/funk with some hip-hop swagger that downshifts into a soul/jazz vibe that backs Hope’s extended Aretha styled riff on the transforming power of the love of a good man. So in the course of this five minute song Hope shifts tempos, toggles between genres and serves up a musical rebuke to critics who say modern pop music is simplistic and formulaic.

So we have yet another example of Brits embracing the kind of soul music that the American mainstream…. Wait a minute. Oh. She’s from Birmingham, Alabama! So we have yet another example of an American soul artist toiling without honor in her own country. Thankfully the world’s a big place, and England has embraced the music from Hope’s six-track EP. “Truly Deeply Madly,” another cut that finds Hope tinkering with tempo, theme, vocal delivery and mood within the contours of one song, received extensive play in England. Hope includes two versions of “Truly Deeply Madly” on Out of Obscurity.

The remix that closes the EP is the stronger of the two versions with its spacey keyboards playing off a bouncy bass line and programmed drums that give the track a 1980s meets 21st Century feel. Hope is a singer and spoken word artist and she likes to use her vocals along with the musical arrangement to set and shift moods and themes. Her sung vocals have an airy, naïve feel to fit with her blind infatuation with the object of her desire. Her delivery and the musical arrangement shifts midway through.  The arrangement moves to more of an assertive funk martial beat led by the drums. Meanwhile, Hope deploys both sung and spoken vocals to highlight the fact that the blinders are off and she realizes that she’s been played. “I was digging you from the moment I caught a whiff of your essence/and did anything short of jumping off a cliff to be in your presence/but maybe if I wasn’t so drop dead in love with you/I would have given myself a chance to fall in love with me.”

Hope sings on five of the six tracks on Out of Obscurity, Pt. 1: From the Darkness. The spoken word piece “Afrobella’s Ballad” is the lone exception, a track where the artist explores the charms and challenges of being a woman, a woman of color, an artist and a person with desires. Spoken word provides an artist with a broad palate on which to drop lyrical paint, and Hope takes full advantage, using metaphor and vivid description to tell her story. “A temporary resident in a world light years away from her own/moonchild. Only those of like mind can tune into her frequency/As a sojourner in search of absolute truth and esoteric wisdom/She shuns the status quo for her spirit does not agree with the bitter taste of conformity.”

Out of Obscurity, Pt. 1: From the Darkness is more than an album title; it is also the first part of an artistic journey that Fayth Hope wants to take. She is currently working on part two. Based on the response Out of Obscurity received in England, the artist will have plenty of fellow travelers. The only question is whether her fellow Americans will go along. They certainly should. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

 

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