David Hope is a West Clare-based singer songwriter whose music falls somewhere between earthy folk and alternative country (whatever that is).
The hard-gigging Irish troubadour has been known to play covers of Atlantic City and I Shall Be Released but while influences of Springsteen and Dylan are immediately evident he has a no frills style that is all his own.
The ten new, and fairly brief, songs on his third studio LP come four years after his last album, Scarecrow, and, though recorded in Cork, are released on a Swiss label.
His delivery and content is described as "heartfelt, raw and gritty"but humour and honesty are his most endearing qualities.
For instance, he praises his lover in the title track for her ability to "Kick my ass when it needs kicking" and while he proclaims he is "sick and tired of excuses" on The Best Thing the jaunty arrangement puts such frustrations into a lighter perspective.
The contribution of Michael Gallan on piano and crisp production (and percussion) of Cristian Best soften any
hard-edges of these songs. Hell, there's even a Christmas song!
The regrets and sadness which underpin Steal Away and The Blackness strike a more poignant note but the "we will endure" message of the closing track - Watch Over You- mean that the tough love of the album title denotes resilience not difficulty.
David Hope's website