Release Date: Oct 9, 2015
Record label: Fortuna Pop
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop
The Spook School's second album, Try to Be Hopeful, is a bracing, bruising indie pop album with sharp hooks, no punches pulled, and enough passion to wipe out anyone looking for an anodyne listening experience. This is an album for people who like politics in their pop, thought behind the singalongs, and songs that don't hide anything. With songs that explore gender and sexuality very honestly and openly while still making the yearning and pain universal to anyone who ever had a heart, the album is honest and uplifting.
It was clear from The Spook School's debut LP Dress Up that the band were still very much in the process of figuring out who they were. Much of its material tackled the subject of coming to terms with yourself, particularly in the case of singer Nye Todd who was dealing with his trans identity. While the album and the live performances which accompanied it were raucous, occasionally rapturous affairs, to an outside observer it still felt like there was much in the way of doubt and unanswered questions in the minds of the four people who wrote the songs.
It’s been a speedy rise to prominence for Edinburgh four-piece The Spook School, who formed in 2012 and burst out of the gates with their debut, Dress Up, in 2013. A year later, their music was being used in BBC3 sketch show Badults. They have brought up gender and identity in their music, and they continue to explore these themes on the follow-up, Try To Be Hopeful.
Edinburgh quartet the Spook School take their name from another group of four, a late 19th Century sect of the Glasgow School of Art who were given the nickname after the critically unpopular ghostly figures in their work. Later, their style helped inspire Art Nouveau, and thus the underdogs became the influencers. It is an appropriate title for a theatrical indie pop band that embraces life's misinterpretations and messiness, and their message has never been more apparent than on their sophomore record Try to Be Hopeful.