(definitely not in any sort of sequence resembling a chronological order)
Time Out NY :: Part junkyard orchestra, part campfire song circle, Hope For Agoldensummer conjures luminous, moody balladry.
New Yorker Magazine :: …lilting Southern-accented vocals and tender harmonies…
Washington Post :: Haunting folk music of a sort, performed with singing saws, pennywhistles and an eclectic assortment of other instruments.
“Hope For Agoldensummer has a knack for crafting gorgeous and often complex refrains, supported by utterly captivating arrangements. When it comes down to it, the lilting, alto voices of the Campbell sisters bolster Hope For Agoldensummer’s sincere folk aesthetic. The group can craft folk songs that are truly unique and compelling, which can’t be said for so many bands, in a genre that so often produces formulaic, one-dimensional tunes.
Leicester Bangs :: This family band is almost too much (in a very positive way, obviously), and their music beguiles me. Listening to Hours [In The Attic] made me realize what a privilege it can be to see and listen to real artists, in an environment where the songs can reach out and wrap themselves around you so very tightly, and make the rest of the world disappear, whilst the magic of the music lingers on. The music is at once absorbing, beautiful, classic, delightful, eloquent. I shall stop here before I have covered the whole alphabet; I’m sure you get the picture. This is a must-have album, and I don’t say that about many live ones.
Independent Weekly :: Hope for Agoldensummer puts the Southern soul of Page and Claire Campbell in rustic, ramshackle settings—call it impressionistic Americana.
SLAP :: … bringing me to my knees with indie’s best art-rock performances…
Philadelphia City Paper :: Claire and Page Campbell sing about God and heartbreak like they’re drunk on their own glorious harmonies and have all the time in the world.
Filmmaker Magazine :: The music was exotic, ethereal, fragile – full of childlike wonderment. There were spare arrangements with singing saw, xylophone, clarinet, acoustic guitar, strange percussion, so much reverb that it seemed to be playing in another dimension, and, at its center, one of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous female voices I’d ever heard. The singer’s voice was booming and haunted, and the lyrics were full of mourning, yet also managed to be hopeful and at times even silly. This was summer music about winter themes… I began to hear it in my dreams. It colored the way I looked at everything around me.
The ethereal, eloquent songs of Hope For Agoldensummer are as promising and wonderful as the band’s moniker. Built around majestic melodies and strong storytelling, the songs of these musicians make the perfect soundtrack to a golden summer. The hip folk-rock quintet’s latest EP was recorded in friends’ backyards and basements in and around Athens and Atlanta—and, for better not worse, that’s exactly what it sounds like: lush, intoxicating, and heart-rending. Above the excellent musicianship lies one of the most powerful, beautiful voices and seamless harmonies to surface since Indigo Girls. It’s not everyday you’re invited to share a private moment with a group of jaw-droppingly talented musicians sitting around on a lazy summer afternoon, enjoying one of the simple, uncompromising pleasures that comes with life in a small town. “
Hope for Agoldensummer is one of the five best bands in America, maybe one of the best three. Could very well just be the best. Too many people already know this; please just shut the hell up about it and let them play. …Hfags (as they call themselves) represent the rise of an ideal South in which some are straight and some gay, some vegan and some omnivorous, all are telepathically empathetic musicians, and some are sisters who sing in uncanny harmony. …If I know anything at all, it’s that criminally few people know about Hfags, and the world would be unconditionally better if more did. …Friends, Hope for Agoldensummer are responsible for three of the most beautiful shows I’ve ever seen and one of the best albums I’ve ever heard. Their music is folk and pop and country, but not any of those exactly; it’s music from a real place (Athens, Georgia) and from that ideal South they’re making for themselves and everyone, one that has a lot to do with the verities of the human heart some Southern idealists like to tell you about.
Sitting onstage, Claire Campbell closes her eyes while singing morbid love stories and quirky poetry from the corner in her mouth. I think she’s a wizard… Many of Hope For Agoldensummer’s songs lift the hairs on my neck. There are moments when the group conjures so much emotion that I have to look at my toes, feeling embarrassed by their earnestness.
For those who do not know, Hope For A Golden Summer out of Athens, Ga craft a densely emotional avante Appalachian folk. Every aspect of the music seems so deliberate and the interplay rings with a psychic chemistry…
No other group acheives the mysterious intrigue of these highly sought after performers and darlings of the music press. Audiences are typically astounded by the sophisticated harmonic approach to their original southern ballads and lyrical storytelling on an artist’s canvas of surprising acoustic instrumentation including Claire’s famous singing saw which, in her skilled hands, rivals the sounds of any electronic instrument.
Resonator Magazine :: This is music that’s definitively southern, definitely rural, and reminiscent of a folk-art angel singing her heart out… the territory tread by Hope For Agoldensummer is equal parts Cormac McCarthy and Flannery O’Connor with weaponry provided by Nick Cave-the sort of songs that hold knives behind their backs, lingering in sweetness just long enough to unveil the darkness lingering ‘neath…
Athens keeps turning ‘em out. If there’s one creative thread that runs through Georgia’s university city, it’s a thread of religious adherence to non-conformity. Hope For Agoldensummer, for instance, is a rootsy acoustic trio that doesn’t sound a whole lot like any of Athens’ myriad other rootsy acoustic trios. Sisters Claire and Page Campbellturn out a dark sibling harmony, like the McGarrigle Sisters‘ sepia-toned doppelgangers, playing acoustic guitar, musical saw and numerous found and homemade objects. They also hand-craft all their own band merchandise.
Relish :: The instrumentation is spare and unusual – banjo, bottles, accordion, cello, desk bell, acoustic guitar, slide whistle, clarinet, vibraphone, saw, drums and assorted doodads and noisemakers. The harmonies – sung by Claire and her sister, Page – are tight and siren-like. The sound that the band creates is as open and spooky as the sky on a starless night. It is the stuff of moonshine dreams and junkyard symphonies. If Tom Waits were a woman, stoned on peyote, lost in the deep woods and caught in the same scenario as The Blair Witch Project, this is the music that would play. This is dreamy music, hauntingly beautiful, evocatively barren, driven by poetic narratives that flit between story-song and stimulating imagery. It is transfixing and engaging, slow and gentle. Time stands still.
Brainwashed Brain :: There aren’t many records that me want to re-evaluate my beliefs about music and about people. Thankfully, I’ve found a record that does. Hope hails from the deep South and the music they make together oozes the rustic, porch-swing spirituality that one might expect, but with uncommon grace and warmth. This is family-made music, right down to the honest-to-goodness sisters who sit and sing and bring audiences to tears, and it follows in that vividly southern tradition of families gathering around to sing and commiserate and tell stories set to song.
Rough Trade Records :: …this is strange, soulful and deeply affecting stuff. think a rural cocorosie, an ornate cat power or a female arcade fire.”
New City Arts :: … Something both unique and mysteriously familiar.
Metro Spirit :: Complete and disturbing, “Ariadne Thread” shows just how cultured, raw, stripped down, and yet cerebral Hope for Agoldensummer really are.
Columbia Free Times :: The Campbell sisters write songs similarly to how Flannery O’Connor or Cormac McCarthy wrote prose: Barren yet evocative, ethereal and eloquent, built about invigorating imagery, and utterly transfixing. That last one’s due in part — perhaps in whole — to the Campbell’s majestic harmonies and penchant for heart-rending melodies.
Hope For Agoldensummer is, in our estimation, a blessed Athens institution. Led by sisters Claire and Page Campbell (though they probably wouldn’t put it that way) and rounded out by Renaissance man Suny Lyons, HFAGS make truly beautiful music in a fashion entirely their own. “Sure,” you say. But seriously– Claire plays the goddamned singing saw and keeps time with a sleigh bell attached like an anklet to her boot while Suny simultaneously plays the banjo and the kazoo and Page plays guitar and sings. So there.
Hope for Agoldensummer is a profoundly understated, content focused group from Athens, Georgia. Their music is a bluegrass-tinged wellspring of harmony and intimate lyricism. …This focus on the human finds continuing expression throughout their work. Hope for Agoldensummer’s songwriting is united by themes of community, family, love and the shared struggle for justice—themes that hover in poetic allusion or hum beneath the currents of melody, ever present yet rarely gaudy or forced.
From the deep Southern roots of Athens, Ga., where resurrected bottles of Milk of Magnesia line weathered porch railings and rocking chairs sway with the cadence of katydids, comes a band whose music is as enchanting as their name. …While the acoustic guitar is the center of [Hope For Agoldensummer’s] music, whimsical instruments ring and whistle, from xylophone to singing saw to slide whistle and some occasional knee-slapping. Claire’s and Page’s harmonies float together effortlessly as they conjure images of the South: drinking on rooftops and dancing with the moon, shooting Coke bottles and driving I-85, and writing goodbye love letters.
“…lovely and romantic…”
This is music to be sat and listened to — patient, flowing modern folk diversions that wander at a slow amble, so that one might take in all of the group’s gorgeous tones. It’s largely acoustic, following clean, resonant acoustic lines, but it’s peppered with little extras — a prancing piano there, a flute over there, some chimes just to add a little flair. Shot over with rustic harmony, Hope for Agoldensummer makes perfectly pretty music that more than rewards a patient sit-down.
Proof positive that an act doesn’t need to blare to incite an emotional response.