Hopeless Records, ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’

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As they celebrate their 30th anniversary, Hopeless Records have invited artists from their current roster, including PVRIS, The Wonder Years and Stand Atlantic, to cover classic songs from the label’s prolific back catalogue. We speak with some of the bands involved in the project as well as label founder Louis Posen in our latest digital cover feature.

Read Hopeless Records, ‘Hopelessly Devoted To You’ | The Album Story below:

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Togetherness is a huge component of what makes Hopeless Records tick in 2024. Over the last 30 years, they have carved out their own niche within rock, punk and metal communities. Their back catalogue speaks for itself, boasting everyone from scene legends to underground gems, boundary-pushers to sound-definers. Aside from just being a place where music fans can share the music they love with other music fans, Hopeless has cultivated a family atmosphere between everyone associated with them. We’re all in this together, and it doesn’t get better than that.

“We never subscribed to the idea that we were in charge of who was in or out of the scene,” founder Louis Posen explains. “We always thought that we were the weirdos and geeks in society, so we should be the ones who are inclusive first and foremost. The whole point was that other people weren’t letting us into their community, so we built our own. Hopeless was started off the back of that, and it continues to thrive because of that.”

It’s to this three-decades-long community that the label is looking to celebrate this monumental anniversary. Trying to sum up so many memorable moments and incredible records is a massive undertaking for anyone, so that’s where the idea for this special compilation came from. A way of letting the bands that represent Hopeless out in the world right now pay tribute to the bands that have come before them, from every era and beyond, it is an amazing snapshot of a label with no limit.

“We had no idea how this was going to come together, and it was a crazy idea to even think that this could work. But as it started to come together and the tracks started to come through, it made it all worthwhile and made sense. Some of these artists involved may not have even been born or had been little kids when some of these songs originally came out. Yet now they are here playing them in their own way. It’s cool to see the spectrum of the last 30 years come together creatively through such artistic expression.”

So, as Hopeless prepares to spread their celebrations track by track over the next few months, we look at what went into putting it together with some of the artists involved…


The beauty of having a label with no specific genre at the core of what it stands for is that the wide breadth of sounds at Hopeless’ disposal feels endless. From releasing the ’11oz.’ EP for Guttermouth back in 1993 to backing records from the likes of Yellowcard, The Used, and Enter Shikari, rock, pop, emo, and alternative culture are well represented within their ranks.

So when it came to their current roster choosing what style they wanted to represent, all bets were off. Like having the keys to the sweet shop, it has allowed many bands to live out their endless dreams. Take Point North, who deliver Avenged Sevenfold‘s metalcore classic ‘Unholy Confessions’ like they have been dealing out breakdowns for years, with vocalist Jon Lundin delivering some proper throat-shredders. Then you have Scene Queen showing how, on top of mastering bimbocore, she also has a huge handle on pop-punk, making We Are The In Crowd‘s ‘The Best Thing (That Never Happened)’ all the more cutthroat than it already was. There’s also Pinkshift delivering the floaty pop of Illuminati Hotties’ ‘Knead’ like they are Nirvana at their most thrilling, and TX2 channelling the most caustic of emo on their take on The Used’s ‘Cry’. Oh, and not forgetting Fame On Fire putting a savage spin on All Time Low‘s ‘Dear Maria, Count Me In’, throwing ferocious riffs onto one of the most celebrated and awarded tracks in the Hopeless discography.

However, one of the biggest transformations comes from The Wonder Years, who travel back to 2001 and take on Thrice‘s iconic ripper ‘Deadbolt’. Very much outside of the band’s usual wheelhouse, despite how far they have travelled during their time with the label, it’s a calloused rendition of a song that rips and tears at you with glee. You may have heard the band recently provided a song called ‘Year Of The Vulture’ for WWE NXT and think that the brash nature of it inspired how this cover sounds. Yet, according to vocalist Dan Campbell, it was entirely the other way around.

“We were going through the catalogue, and we were trying to find something that we felt would define an era for Hopeless that no one else was going to think to do,” he remembers. “We always think, ‘What will nobody else be doing? Can we try it because of that? Can we be different?’ We claimed ‘Deadbolt’ first and then considered how we would pull it off.”

“After tracking it, I realised that this is how I have to do the vocals for ‘Year Of The Vulture’ as well. I had never made my voice do things like that in my life before. When I had to relearn how to sing ‘Year Of The Vulture’ for when we would be playing it live, I had to go back to this ‘Deadbolt’ cover to figure out how I got there in the first place.”

This sort of impassioned exploration serves as a cornerstone for what Hopeless represents. And even when thinking about how it felt to sign for the label in 2011, Dan is still so proud that they saw something in their little pop-punk band from Philadelphia.

“I was sitting upstairs at a pub in Leeds, but it could have been Manchester, when we announced it. It was the only place I could get wifi cause it was so long ago that my cell couldn’t get a signal in the UK. But reading every comment, I was just thinking, ‘Is everybody going to call us sellouts?’ But the reaction was properly, ‘Fuck yeah, Hopeless signed a punk band’. That felt awesome.”


When family is so essential to your community’s infrastructure, collaboration will come naturally. Bringing together so many incredible talents to exist under one umbrella, the current Hopeless roster and, of course, the alumni are all connected extraordinarily. So when the chance to work together comes up, it will be grasped with both hands, and that’s precisely what happened with this 30th-anniversary celebration.

The compilation features two label link-ups. The first comes from Hey Violet, who has joined forces with Jayden Seeley, previously of the wonderful With Confidence. Their take on Yellowcard’s 2011 ballad, ‘Hang You Up’, feels like a sunset on Venice Beach, transforming it into a sugary, sweet tearjerker, showing off how far pop music has travelled over the last decade.

The other comes courtesy of Stand Atlantic and PVRIS, and it isn’t the first time the pair have teamed up. Just recently, STAT released ‘GIRL$’, taken from their upcoming record ‘WAS HERE’, with vocalists Bonnie Fraser and Lyndsey Gunnulfsen trading fizzy empowering bars in perfect harmony. From that session, a friendship has blossomed, which means any opportunity to do something together is taken with aplomb. And that’s where their cover of DE’WAYNE‘s rip-roaring banger, ‘GOOD MOOD’, comes in. Utilising the experimental paths that Stand Atlantic and PVRIS have taken in recent years, the result trades out the rock and roll ferocity for overblown production and gritty attitudes. It’s red hot, righteous and rigid in all the right ways, and for Bonnie, it embodies everything pure about her friendship with Lyndsey.

“Lyndsey is just really sweet. She’s the best person ever, and we got along so well from the first moment we met. We’re on the same wavelength in terms of music and career-wise. I had wanted to work with her for ages, and then, when we became friends, it was suddenly so much easier to do something. So when we were fishing through the Hopeless roster, DE’WAYNE popped up. We loved the song and felt we could do something cool with it. It’s just got that edge to it that we both really like, and Lyndsey smashes production, so she made it sound amazing.”

Without Hopeless building bridges with their roster, the pair may have never considered partnering up in the way they have. Yet for Bonnie, the label has been a part of her life for much longer than just when Stand Atlantic were signed. You could say it was written in the stars that they would end up together.

“I always wanted to be signed to Hopeless; it’s the label where all my favourite bands were. And when I was a kid, I felt like I manifested it. Because in the end, we didn’t even try to get signed by them because they came to us after the ‘Sidewinder’ EP. They have always let us do what we want to do. They’ve always respected that and always had our backs, and I couldn’t have asked for a better fit. To see us on this journey that we’re now on, I couldn’t have asked for more from them.”


When covering someone else’s track, you must try and step into the emotional state of the original lyricist. And when it comes to covering emo songs, that usually means embodying some pretty deep feelings. Throughout their time in the spotlight, Hopeless have put out songs that cover the full spectrum of the human condition. From raging fuck-you-very-much middle fingers to heart-wrenching break-up diary entries, there is a bit of everything for whatever you are going through. The same can be said for their 30th anniversary compilation, which finds their artists finding the best ways of conveying poetry from across the decades.

On the vulnerable side, you have Sweet Pill, who put their only jangly gorgeousness into the stark admissions of struggle at the centre of The Wonder Years’ iconic ‘There There’, making it all the more melancholy. The same can be said for Illuminati Hotties, who take Neck Deep‘s gold-plated ‘December’ and push it through a low-key bedroom mesh. The result is even more devastating, tender, and broken.

Then, when it comes to self-deprecation, there’s Sincere Engineer, who pays tribute to one of the label’s originals, 88 Fingers Louie, expressing the frustrations of ‘I Hate Myself’ with a smile plastered across their chops. There’s also Bayside, who dive the deepest into the archives with their breezy take on The Weakerthans‘ ‘Aside’, adding sea air to this heavy account of life trying to get the better of you.

There’s also Noahfinnce, who adds plenty of British charm to Waterparks‘ ‘I Miss Having Sex, But At Least I Don’t Wanna Die Anymore’. For Noah, it was a chance to sing lyrics that fit in with his chosen style and way of expressing himself, as well as placing acclaim on one of their favourite bands.

“I’ve never really been capable of going full-on emo because I’m just too sarcastic myself. I’ll joke about the worst thing that has ever happened to me. So that song, the way that it fits into that self-deprecating honesty, a lot of it comes from a para-social aspect. I came from first being an influencer who plays covers.  Seeing how Awsten [Knight] interacts with other people in the scene and fans made me feel like we have a crossover.”

This crossover represents why Noah feels Hopeless is his perfect home. Representing the label on the other side of the Atlantic after growing up with the bands on their roster plastered across his walls reminds him of how important this community is on a worldwide scale.

“I feel like Hopeless have always had a huge family vibe,” he smiles. “This has always been the music that I love the most, so the fact that Hopeless have any interest in me is amazing. I feel like pop-punk in America is different, so I’m still so proud to be able to represent the UK sound.”


Though Hopeless are celebrating 30 years of sharing the scene with the world, that doesn’t mean they are anywhere near done. This is an incredible way of summing up their achievements so far, bringing the label’s past, present and future together in perfect harmony. But there are still new sounds to uncover, new ideas to bring to life, and new ground to be conquered. Nobody is prouder of what Hopeless has been able to achieve than Louis himself, but he is far from done. If he has learned anything over the years, it’s that you have never learned it all. So, when celebrating 40, 50 and even 60 years of Hopeless Records, just know they will be doing it in style again.

“We will come up with an idea over some ramen at lunchtime and say, ‘Let’s go back to the office and do that”, he laughs. “And not all of those ideas work, but we will still try them. We actually learn the most stuff from the things that don’t!”

“Hopeless is always changing. There’s always new challenges and new things to pursue and it never ends. There’s something scary about that but also something incredibly exciting. Because the scene isn’t going to stay the same. It shouldn’t. This is all a part of what we do, and no matter how big anything gets or how much things around us change, we will still be doing the same thing we always have.”

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