Soul musician Curtis Harding shared a new single called “Hopeful.” It’s the first new song he has released since his 2018 single “It’s Not Over.” Before that, his last release was his popular sophomore album Face Your Fear in 2017.
It’s an anthemic track about Black power, hopeful for peace. Harding begins with a rap-like urgency, “Now in this present darkness/All ears just listen a mass has formed to cure the common condition/Though black as a cloud in a war ridden sky/The lights will shine through till this bullshit blows by.”
Harding says he actually wrote the track before the June 2020 events, but released it with the recent situation in mind. He explains, “I wrote [‘Hopeful’] some time ago but in theory it goes far beyond a time and place. I’ve always tried to carry it [Hope] wherever I am. Darkness finds us all, hope allows us the fortitude to seek out the light.”
“Hopeful” features a chorus of female backing vocalists chanting the song’s name for the hook, but the song switches gears halfway through, exploding into a dramatic finale. Different typical soul instruments take the lead throughout the climax, from a saxophone transition into a psychedelic guitar solo, to cinematic backing vocals, to a cloud of strings carrying the song out. Organs whistle quietly in the background and drums pull it all together.
A music video directed by Lynsey Weatherspoon intersperses clips of Harding dancing next to his car in an empty parking lot, with people marching in support of Black rights and justice for the victims of police violence including Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The video also aims to fundraise for Know Your Rights Camp, an organization that fights for the liberation of Black and other minority ethnic communities.
Weatherspoon states, “Working on the visuals for ‘Hopeful’ was very cathartic because it gave me the chance to revisit and reflect on the activities from 2020. Curtis’ song really brings home what we’re all feeling and how we can progress to the hope we have for our future. His energy is unmatched and he immersed himself into the process, which helped us create a powerful storyline for the video. Being able to really bring home the meaning of the song within several areas of Atlanta really made this project a success. I know ‘Hopeful’ will be able to bring a sense of place in a world that we desire love and peace to be spread abound.”