Here, Arlo Parks sings of a friend of hers who is feeling isolated, depressed and alone. She won't contact her mates because "she's ashamed of being locked into bed."
During the chorus, Parks empathizes with her friend and assures her she's not the only person on the planet feeling low. "That sense of shame is present in the verses, so I wanted the chorus to be this rallying cry," the singer explained to Apple Music. "I imagined a room full of people at a show who maybe had felt alone at some point in their lives singing together as this collective cry so they could look around and realize they're not alone."
On the song's bridge, Parks speaks to her friend, telling her she understands how she feels because she gets depressed too. "I wanted to also have the little spoken-word breakdown, just as a moment to bring me closer to the listener," she explained. "As if I'm on the other side of a phone call."
Parks' record company released "Hope" as the sixth single from her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams. Written and recorded with longtime producer Gianluca Buccellati, they made the record in a collection of different London Air BnBs rather than a traditional studio setup.
The singer's frequent visual collaborator, Molly Burdett, directed the touching video, where we see Parks dancing and hanging out with a lonely friend. "I think there's something so powerful about the saturated, filmic textures, the human portraits and depictions of euphoria," she said.
The clip co-stars Molly Windsor, who played the lead role of Emma Hedges in the BBC TV drama Traces.
Speaking during Elton John’s Rocket Hour on Apple Music 1, Arlo Parks cited her inspirations for this song:
Portishead's Dummy album
The drums on some of '70s experimental rock band Can records
The jazz she grew up listening to at home.
"And I just wanted to create something that felt uplifting," Parks added. "I wanted to give people a sense of being part of something. And although everyone's isolated, not feeling alone and not feeling ashamed about those difficult feelings that a lot of us have."