Getting Stoned with Hope Whitelock
Having conducted around 400 interviews over a period of just over 6 years, I had the opportunity to meet all types of artists: the shy, the vain (the vast majority), the angry, the funny and the sarcastic, among many others. I can say that the ones who give me the most trouble are always the sarcastic ones. Not because they’re bad, but because generally I tend to compete with them on levels of sarcasm. And now I truly believe that Hope Whitelock, this promissing American who improvises physics with folk in Colorado, is part of this select team.
I’ve been a cynical and sarcastic (and depressed) person since I was a child.
Like one of her (and mine too) idols, Phoebe Bridgers – who by the way also has some sort of Phd in sarcasm – Hope creates a kind of sentimental indie-folk, based on her own academic experience, the ups and downs of her life, cats, and, of course, hilarious and sad facts she likes to reminisce. Her latest single “Stoned”, by the way, is a tender memory of feeling lonely at a party, which she insists on prolonging in order to wait for the right person to arrive.
It’s good to say that Hope’s first single, “tiptoe” was written just a few months ago, and now she’s getting ready to release “kafkaesque” – please don’t ask her what it means (I didn’t). Well, both “Stoned” and “tiptoe” are extremely personal and lacerating ballads, with a technical precision that is surprising for an amateur artist. Spoiler: she sings disgracefully well.
Hope Whitelock it’s a talent about to get high (no pun intended please) – even if she doesn’t take herself that seriously most of the time (thankfully). Check her interview:
2 6 Things about Hope Whitelock
RC- Hello Hope. How is it going? Feeling hopeless lately?
HW – I’m always hopeless 😉 I’ve been doing really well, though. The past few months have been going pretty well.
RC – On your instagram profile, you said that your name came from a joke. Can you share it with our readers?
HW – Haha, oh my. It wasn’t really a joke, but it sure feels like it. I’ve been a cynical and sarcastic (and depressed) person since I was a child. I have this beautiful, aspirational name, and I absolutely do not live up to it. It’s really funny for only me.
RC- As well as artists who are more “open” about their problems (and with a indie-folk vein), such as Sasha Sloan, Gracie Abrams and even Taylor Swift, you are very honest with your lyrics. Is it also a way to make people quickly identify with what you are experiencing? What are your major influences?
HW – Honestly, I mostly write to process my own feelings, and its a very selfish process. This is far more of a passion project than a commercial one for me – I have a whole other full time job, so I don’t really worry about making “sellable” music. I love that people connect with my music, and I’ve found a lot of community in both my own music and connecting with people who listen to the same music I do. Some of my biggest influences are musicians who have a lot of community surrounding them. I spent most of my teenaged years (and today) listening to Frightened Rabbit, Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers, and Taylor Swift, and one of the main reasons why those artists are so important to me is talking to other people about their music and the community feeling.
RC- By the way, when was the last time you got stoned?
HW – This is my dirty little secret – I actually don’t smoke that much weed. I smoked for a bit in college, and it’s something that I’ve done more because other people tell me to. When “Stoned” was coming out, my roommates I bought a pack of pre-rolls (in Colorado, where we live, weed is legal, so its easy to buy pre-made things) and smoked them while watching She-Hulk, but that’s about it.
RC – Taking advantage of Taylor Swift’s new album, I don’t know if I’ve heard “Anti-Hero” which is a beautiful track that speaks very well about the drama of depression and its psycho-social effects. Do you somehow write music as well to relieve yourself?
HW – “Anti-hero” is one of my favorite tracks off of ‘Midnights’, and more specifically the line “I get older but never wiser” hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I heard it. I think there’s something really great about sad music, where it can really help you not feel alone both as a listener and an artist. I found this a lot, where I’ll write about something really, really heavy, and seeing people connect with what I’m feeling almost instantly makes me feel better and less alone. The same with listening – hearing something and feeling understood makes everything so, so much better.
RC – When will we have the honor of having Hope Whitelock in Brazil? What do you know and like about our culture?
HW – I really, really want to come to Brazil. I am currently broke as hell, though. I only just got a passport last year, and so far I’ve taken one trip to see family overseas, and that completely cleared out my savings. The dream is to have enough interest in my music to be able to travel and perform, but we’ll see. Either way, I’d loved to visit and experience the culture – to be honest I haven’t really been able to experience many cultures which is a huge bummer, so I don’t really know very much.