Hope Tala’s “Jealous” Is a Powerhouse Filled with Tropical Soundscapes & Honest Lyricism

Hope Tala
Hope Tala
The bossa nova instrumentation present on Hope Tala’s “Jealous,” combined with her silky vocals, make for a track teeming with life, power, and serenity.
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Listen: “Jealous” – Hope Tala

The art of songwriting is one that requires a true passion for the craft. Honesty tends to be a driving force, allowing for an artist to begin making a sonic space that is solely occupied by them, but that can only get one so far. Hope Tala sees this and rises to the occasion, stampeding over these challenges with dignified grace. She accomplishes this by her use of varied instrumentation and gorgeous vocal harmonies, crafting soundscapes that transport listeners far and wide to the worlds in which she creates.

Jealous – Hope Tala

For Tala’s latest single, “Jealous,” she has done just this. However, it hasn’t been an instant success for her, it’s something she has been working towards. The 21-year-old London-based artist has been honing her craft with each track she has released, often exploring her experiences as a person of color and of being part of the LGBTQ community. Her attention-grabbing ability stems from her otherworldly vocals, possessing a delicate charm that wafts around listeners’ ears, embracing them with a soft touch. Combine that with the serene rhythms present on her music and she has a recipe for endearing tracks to fall in love with.

Keep your secrets far away from me
The truth will never set me free
So let me keep to myself when sunlight fades
Keep your distance when my blood goes cold
I can’t help you when my eyes turn gold
The moon comes out and wolf comes through
I can’t promise I won’t hurt you

“Jealous” possesses this quality via its bossa nova inspired melodies present throughout. Colorful guitar strums and catchy conga beats set up the base melody for the track, forming a tropical and airy experience perfect for gentle footwork and sways whilst under the sun. Shakers and a double bass smoothly enter the mix, resulting in an immediate warm sensation that stays with listeners long after the track ends. All of this then leads to Tala’s vocals, enrapturing all who press “play” with her velvety, bordering sultry, presence and performance.

Hold me up as a martyr to your love
You can do with me what you will, I’ll never run
Put stars into my eyes so when you look at me you cry
Please never leave me for another when time flies

As she begins singing, the lyrical depth of Tala also begins to shine through. “A dichotomy lies at the heart of ‘Jealous’ in that I construct myself as being in danger but also being dangerous, fearful but also causing fear, harmed but also conflicting harm,” described Tala in a statement. “That’s what jealousy is to me; a complex clash of on the one hand being vulnerable because of the fear of being hurt but on the other hand knowing that you can inflict harm yourself upon your relationship through being open about your jealousy.”

For now leave me be and come back later
When the sun has set I will feel safer
Hold you close I’ll be so tender
I know that I’ve been careless
Didn’t want you to see me jealous

As the track progresses, and the chorus hits, slight lyrical variations occur, but the same idea is present. A mixture of “I guess that I’ve been careless/didn’t want you to see me jealous” occurs only to then switch towards the track’s end. There is a moment of understanding and acceptance as Tala sings “I know that I’ve been careless,” as if seeing a personal growth in real-time.

Hope Tala © Ruby Rowan Gleeson

As the final verses approach, the guitar strums are joined with plucks that spice up the experience as the looping bassline delivers a rhythmically enchanting sound. And just as the sonic soundscape begins to enrich and embolden, Tala decides it’s not enough and throws in jazzy piano touches to truly cement the fact that her musicality is unmatched. And now, all that is left are the last few “I guess that I’ve been” lines, ending on a sunny note.

Out for blood in the night
Til the dark turns to light
Til the morning’s calm sunlight
Come and see your lover I won’t bite
Come and see your lover I won’t bite
Come and see your lover

Authenticity isn’t always easy to express, but Hope Tala does it with ease. There is no doubt that what she plays and sings are simply her; pieces of herself that she transcribes into a musical format for audiences to admire. And that is exactly what happened with “Jealous.” With her inviting and smooth vocals to the sun-soaked bossa nova melody present throughout, Tala has made a tune that embraces honesty while also delivering a musical experience nonpareil. She is an artist to be on the lookout for.

Expect to see hear more from her when her EP Sensitive Soul drops August 14 via Globe Town Records.

Listen: “Jealous” – Hope Tala

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