In times of great uncertainty, sadness and anxiety – music and art can be the bridges between us. In the case of PD’s latest release, the single addresses the isolation and desperation that lead an individual towards suicide. It’s a painful yet powerful piece of music and performance, and it seeks to unite those of us who have felt the weight of the topic in some way or another.
The cleverly titled Hope is all but hopeful in its opening lyricism – an intimate, tired yet distant vocal delivers a spoken word segment that relates to personal struggle in a profound and heartbreaking way. Feelings of being alone, irrelevant, a burden, not cared about by society or those around you, every day – these are the ideas that come to light during the opening verse. At the same time, this blissfully optimistic, acoustic funk soundscape adds a minimalist touch of organic brightness, already creating a unique contrast with the darkness of the lyrics.
Then comes the second verse, and the voice is much cleaner now, closer. That brightness seeps into the delivery for a brief moment, turning the concept on its head and igniting a sense of possibility, and Hope – which, evidently, was there all along, musically, and within the listener; it just took the resolve of the song, the sudden clarity, to lay it bare.
While there are familiar aspects to the song’s set-up, the finished piece – the performance and how vulnerable and intensely honest it is, its uniquely skilful use of juxtaposition – all helps make it one of the most interesting, enjoyable, and valuable releases of 2020 so far. I look forward to hearing where else the music takes PD.