Toxic relationships can be like an addiction that is hard to overcome. The journey to finding a way to leave and the start of the healing process can be challenging, but Frances Hope is here to light the way with ‘Stay’. Through the soft rock and alternative pop tones of the single, she acknowledges the struggle of leaving a toxic relationship, before laying down the building blocks of the healing process.
A natural performer, Hope brings indie-folk artistry to her poetic lyrics, before wrapping it all in a sound that is easy to connect with. An advocate for mental health, she draws on her own struggles to help heal the emotional wounds we all carry. No newcomer to the music scene, she was a contestant on season 8 of The Shot: Remastered and won Battle of the Bands to take the main stage at the Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria.
The deep almost ambient drone that opens ‘Stay’ vibrates through your brain. The vibrations have you stuck in place as the almost discordant plucked tones make their way through the melody. There is a subdued feeling to the music that brings a reflective vibe to the track. You can feel the contemplation in the notes and the dark emotions that tug at the edges of your senses. As the single progresses, the suppressing feeling of the vibrating drone lightens, allowing you to finally look up and find a way out of the rut you find yourself in. From this point, the music builds toward a lighter feeling. You can still feel the sonic representations of the darker times, but they seem to part, to allow you to move past them toward the gentle keys.
As the droning tone holds you in place, Hope’s vocals bring a sighing and rather tired feeling to the single. While the lyrics draw you into a realisation of the toxic relationship you are in, there is a strange acceptance to them. There is a poetic swirl to the lyrics that touch on both toxic relationships and addiction, merging them, to showcase how the struggle with each are so similar. As the single continues, she brings an objective view of the situation she finds herself in, before pushing at the darkness to try and find something lighter. It is a really powerful single that uses a soft movement to bring a serious subject to listeners.
Frances Hope draws you in with vibrating tones, only to capture your senses with the poetic flow of her vocals in ‘Stay’. The music brings a sonic representation of the struggles people face in toxic relationships and with addiction. The vocals have a tired acceptance that turns into realisation and the struggle to start the healing process.