Does die Hoffnung Get Played at Emo Nights

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  • The way to color off the page
    is to swipe away with
    a little thwip thwip, you can
    make the noise, go ahead.

    die Hoffnung is The Hope
    and their songs wear
    frayed laces and cracked
    belts, they jump into

    glacial water, they’ll get
    to it when it’s time exactly.
    On Love Songs it was
    just Jon and Jim and

    played with mortar between
    big swells and treadmills.
    Before then they were i hate
    myself and later it was

    die Hoffnung which means
    The Hope, a marathon from self-
    loathing to a glimmer, long-
    distance runners that pulled the ribbon;

    I mean these musicians
    are comfortable locking eyes
    with gawking voids. Love
    Songs
    doesn’t sound like

    love songs but love songs
    are like eels or big fish
    you know they’re slippery
    to catch by hand.

    That album is bigger than the
    internet would tell you on first
    blush, there’s a lot of emotion
    going on in there you

    know a lot like love, it
    splits, it churns, it really
    scrambles you up inside
    a lot of the time.

    They asked Travis to help
    with more guitar but it’s
    a seamless spackle if you
    knew from before you

    probably couldn’t tell or
    at least you’d have to touch
    your tongue and really
    taste the air a second.

    With Travis, die Hoffnung
    put together Elegies and
    Creation Songs and before
    it came out Travis died

    from addiction and depression.
    The LP carries a letter about
    him and a CD-R of separate songs
    for those in his absence

    and a burned disc automatically
    feels so intimate. Does die
    Hoffnung get played at
    emo nights, the emo night

    with sweet mocktails and
    multiple die Hoffnung tracks
    on the short list is the night
    for me, where is that night. Elegies

    starts slow like it knows but
    of course it doesn’t, it’s a record
    and Travis is on it, and I didn’t
    know Travis but it’s clear

    his spirit is a weight, like
    Gilbert’s heavy box which
    I think about in daylight
    and shade, and in a way brothers

    Jim and Jon have been
    whispering and shouting
    about for a long time. Creation
    songs are early verses and

    elegies are the late ones but
    of course we can shuffle them
    together because snakes and math
    show are examples of endlessness.

    Some people write songs
    they think people want
    to hear, die Hoffnung writes
    the songs they have to write

    and sometimes even that isn’t
    enough to fend off tides and debt
    collectors and brain chemistry,
    all that splayed energy, you know,

    that doesn’t mean there isn’t
    hope in the bent notes and the
    melodic snare and the spoken
    parts and the clipped shouts;

    this album is stacked with hope
    it’s lousy with it like little divots
    that might trip you up if you aren’t
    listening close and even if you are.

     

    //

     

    Levi Rubeck is a critic and poet currently living in the Boston area. More shenanigans can be found at levirubeck.com.

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