Although heavier than most bands under the space rock banner, Poughkeepsie, NY's Hopewell fits comfortably in the genre, playing interstellar guitar pop as well as dreamy psychedelia. And despite the fact that bandleader Jason Russo (vocals, guitar) is a member of Mercury Rev, Harmony Rockets, and the Golden Crickets, Hopewell have managed to maintain an entirely individual sound, with only the occasional Rev influence seeping through.
Hopewell formed in 1993 when Dalia Garih (drums, vocals) and Whip (bass guitar) joined the brothers Jason and Justin Russo (keyboards, samples, vocals) to record a series of 7" singles that were released on various independent labels throughout the '90s. In 1998, Contact, the band's first full-length, was released on the indie Burnt Hair label. A small string of shows followed, until the Russos went on tour with Mercury Rev to support the Deserter's Songs album. During the hiatus, Whip released a solo record on the Black Bean Placenta label.
Much of 1999 was spent recording Curved Glass, Hopewell's second full-length CD, which was released to critical acclaim by Pariapus Records in the fall and followed by a performance at the Reading/Leeds Festival in the U.K. and an extensive European tour. For their third release, the band tapped the production prowess of Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev, producer Dave Fridmann. Recorded in upstate New York, Hopewell & the Birds of Appetite was released in 2005. Though the band line-up has changed over the years -- Justin Russo left to form his own group in 2003 -- with Russo at the helm Hopewell has continued to work releasing Not Birds in 2006 and Beautiful Targets in 2007. In 2009, Hopewell returned with Good Good Good Desperation. ~ Dale Nicholls