Soul Whirling Somewhere

Soul Whirling Somewhere

Hope Was

Projekt

Hope Was charts the difficult territory of love lost between hope and despair, somehow crafting an album of breathtaking beauty from the soul-crushing horror of a relationship falling apart before your eyes. Michael Plaster sings his incredibly honest, vulnerable lyrics in a voice so overcome with conflicting emotions — loss, fear, regret, anger, but above all, love — that you want to weep, and not stop until he and his lover are reunited.

The overall Gothic ambiance of Hope Was fits with Plaster’s other Soul Whirling Somewhere recordings, but this one has more of an edge to it, weaving late-night insomniac radio static, ominous drones, and jittery percussion in with soft-strummed guitars and oceanic synths. These jarring juxtapositions are perfect for evoking the swings in the lyrics from morose self-hatred to blind, loving hope. For instance, the synths on “How to Hang Yourself” start off warm and enveloping, but Plaster pushes them a little off-key, showing how off-balance it feels to live in a world without your lover.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t a lot of outright gorgeous, gentle pieces here too. On “How to Bury Yourself,” slow, halting notes from an upright piano trace the tentative steps of a lost man who’s not sure if he can make it from one moment to the next, let alone through the long, empty days until he can see his former lover again. Nor is the entire album despairing (though much of it is) — the lovely, radiant synths of the instrumental “Sonora/Red,” for instance, feel like hope dawning with the sunrise, red and raw and new; a chance to begin again that almost sets your heart afloat in the crystal desert air. But then “Unsleep” comes, synths wavering between joy and sorrow as he sees her face beside him in the middle of the night, only to wake alone and realize it was all just a cruel dream…

This two-disc, two-hour set is highly recommended for anyone who just couldn’t bear to let a relationship go, no matter how painful it was to hang on; for anyone who has learned the hard way that when all hope is gone, the only thing that’s left is hope. Projekt, P.O. Box 166155, Chicago, IL 60616

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith
    Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

  • The Slackers / Sic & Mad
    The Slackers / Sic & Mad

    Love I Bring /Cat Prozac (Split 7 inch single on). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    An adaptation of a classic horror story safe for little eyes.

  • Nosferatu
    Nosferatu

    A classic horror tale ends up some place weird.

  • Self Taught
    Self Taught

    Over a ten-year period, punk guitar legend Tim Kerr and his wife Beth used thrift store cameras to document self-taught artists environments. Combined with portraits of the creators, Self Taught is a celebration of artistic spirit.

  • New Music Now 002
    New Music Now 002

    In NMN Episode Two, Ink 19’s Pat Greene picks the soothing, balm-like brain of old friend Matt Gorney (The Civic Minded Five, Jazz in the Bible Belt on WPRK, 91.5 FM, Winter Park, Florida) as the two discuss the album Promises, from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

  • Fun Home
    Fun Home

    A small town funeral director hides a not-so-big secret.

From the Archives