One Victoria-based singer-songwriter is creating a name for herself while donating to a charitable cause in hopes the money will help women who have been the victims of trauma.
Frances Hope is releasing her third EP in which she is ecstatic to have found her voice with the help of her collaborators.
Her reinvented sound and deeply meaningful lyrics made her ponder what her music is meant for and how her art can make a tangible difference in her community.
Hope decided to donate half the proceeds of her album release show to the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society as a gesture of faith that all women who live through trauma find somewhere they can heal.
She has lived through her own experiences of trauma as a woman who is at odds with depression, anxiety and healing from abuse, but to Hope, her story has just begun.
Frances Hope’s story
Hope was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta where her family raised her on folk music that would inspire her to create something that really meant something to somebody one day.
“I was lucky enough to be born into a very musical family,” Hope told Victoria Buzz. “Happy Birthday was always sung in three-part harmonies,” she laughed.
“We had full on ‘hootenanny hoedowns’ where we’d have everything from piano, mandolins, guitar, harp trumpets, we had violins, ukulele and banjo, so I was really blessed.”
Hope says as a young girl she found solace in the sounds of Gordan Lightfood, K.D. Lang and Joni Mitchell to name a few.
She went to school at the University of Alberta with a drama major and attended singing and music classes all the while before she decided to move out to Victoria in 2016, where she would truly begin her journey as a career musician.
“I had the choice between theatre or music and music has always sort of been my ride-or-die, so I moved out here, got my degree and wanted to make my mark on the town,” Hope explained.
Her first experience on a stage in Victoria was at a now closed eatery that was on Douglas Street called the Northern Quarter, which held a weekly open mic that Hope was able to find community through.
“I met a lot of cool people through there and got a lot of opportunities,” said Hope. “I would just hang around and got to know the music scene.”
Some people she met she would end up collaborating with on her newest EP, such as Victoria’s beloved, Neil James Cooke-Dallin of Astrocolor.
Just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hope started playing in more cafes, bars and restaurants around town while networking and finding connections with other people in the folk music scene.
She had just recorded her first EP and was set to release it in early April, 2020, which she had to cancel.
Through the pandemic, Hope stayed busy writing and learnt to play the piano, did live streams, learnt to use Logic Pro and tried to navigate the largely online pivot the music industry was forced to make. She also recorded her second EP during this time, which she released in 2021 when restrictions were a bit looser.
Now, she has fundraised her way to be able to hire a professional producer to work with and get her third and latest EP, dubbed ‘Paradigm’, recorded, mixed and mastered which will be released one track at a time on June 7th, July 7th and August 7th.
She will be playing through the entirety of Paradigm with a stand up bass and lead guitarist backing her up at her release show, which will be a theatrical and intimate performance.
Paradigm’s release show
Paradigm is a three-track EP which will be released at the Haus of Owl on June 9th and the show will be intimate and full of costume changes, projection and of course, music.
“It’s going to have more elements than usual,” Hope explained to Victoria Buzz.
Other Haus of Owl collective members are aiding Hope in projections of her music video for the first track of the EP while she and her band play it live, before she does a seamless costume change and ramps things up for the other two songs.
“The first song is called Broken Girls, which is about struggling through mental health issues, dealing with depression and anxiety, past abuse in relationships, anything along those lines that makes you feel like you’re broken and unlovable.”
It’s because of the sentiment of this song that Hope decided to collaborate with the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society, which she will donate half the proceeds of the show to.
“All the women I know that have gone through things are still standing because they fought through unimaginable things,” Hope said. “We stand her stronger than ever before with a renewed sense of, ‘I’m going to live the life I want to live, I’m still here so I’m going to make the most of it,’” Hope said.
At the time of this publication, there were only two tickets to the intimate album release event left which can be found online.
Here is the music video for Frances Hope’s single, Stay, from her second EP:
Frances Hope’s Paradigm release party at Haus of Owl
- Where: Haus of Owl, 780 Blanshard Street
- When: Friday, June 9th from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.