Last time that Going To The Sun passed my way with their glorious and eponymous debut, I’m pretty sure that I may have used the phrase “life-affirming” and it is great to hear that although a not insignificant slice of life has passed since then, they seem to have lost none of their positivity. Hopeful Song is about as optimistic (natch!) as it gets, encompassing the idea that even when things aren’t going great you can lose yourself in the positive vibes of a forward-looking song, and in doing so becoming the very song that it talks about looking for. Self-referencing at its subtlest, sonic existentialism at its finest… or something.
Western Gate from which the album takes its delicious and elegant title is similarly delicious and elegant, a cinematic adventure which takes in jaunty verses, epic, neo-classical interludes, sky-scraping outbursts and intimate, conversational asides. To be fair, it is worth buying the album just for this one amazing song alone. Trust me I’m a journalist…sort of.
And if you do then it means that songs such as the lush and harmonious Remember Who You Are, the country-punk stomp of Rodeo, the brooding theatrics of Dustbowl and everything else found here can be considered bonus tracks. And that in turn means that you have just been given the most amazing free musical gifts ever. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Sometimes you get so much more!