Hope For Sale

Hope For Sale

Throughout the 2010s, Montreal-bred, LA-based studio wiz Yoni Ayal produced tracks for superstars like J. Lo and Usher, but with Chiiild, he’s making music purely for himself. And on their first full-length album, he and partner Pierre-Luc Rioux stretch the psychedelic-R&B sound of 2020’s Synthetic Soul EP to fill a wide canvas. Hope for Sale is a hallucinatory blur of disco, funk, and pop that owes as much to Pink Floyd as D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, its expansive vision colored with charming details like mouth-trumpet solos. “Musically, it’s about chasing a certain feeling that you had when growing up,” Ayal tells Apple Music. “I didn’t realize how much nostalgia was a part of my palette.” But while Hope for Sale may feel like an escapist antidote to pandemic panic, Ayal sees it very much as a time capsule of its era. “I wanted this record to reflect this moment,” he says. “If you listen to this record and remember this time, I feel like I’ve done my job. And when I listen to this record in 10 years, I’m going to remember this moment and it’s going to be a special experience for myself. And I hope it is for everyone else.” Here, Ayal presents his track-by-track guide to your future nostalgia. “Sleepwalking” “This is about gaining agency over your existence. It’s my mission statement—like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if you realize it, but you should be alarmed, because you’re just sleepwalking through life. You’re just going through the motions and doing what society told you to do.’ So, ‘Sleepwalking’ is meant to represent the idea that you have no agency over your future.” “Hold on Till We Get There” “This song would have never happened if it wasn’t for the pandemic. It’s definitely a song that speaks to what we were all going through and thinking, but my natural self just leans more optimistic. The difference between those that fail and those that succeed are those that don’t stop. And so, we just need to hold on till we get there.” “Weightless” “‘Weightless’ can be interpreted in the literal sense—like, ‘You’re going through a hard time. Let me help take the weight off. Let’s connect, let’s have sex, whatever.’ You’re having a conversation with someone and you’re saying, ‘Hey, I realize that you’re going through something, so how about we just sit here and flow and daydream and think about nothing.’ The trumpet line is actually a mouth trumpet that I did. Those are the things that happen in those situations: You’re with a partner, and they’re going through a hard time, so you just do something silly.” “Awake” (feat. Mahalia) “This originally started with the front half, and I was messing around with it, trying to find my footing. I had the chorus for a while and then linked up with Jay Warner in London, and we fleshed it out. I don’t just pull my heart out in a song and then just leave it—the editing process is such a big part. I really make a point of getting edited by ears that I trust. So, Jay helped make that chorus more potent. But I was seeking a woman’s perspective on this particular song. I happened to be on a call with Ari PenSmith, and I played him the song, and he was like, ‘I really think Mahalia would be a great collaborator for this.’ And this was, like, a week before the song is meant to be released.” “Eventually” “This could have been on Synthetic Soul. We actually performed it when we were opening for Emotional Oranges, but it was just never fully completed. ‘Eventually’ speaks to that situation where you wake up in the morning, and for some reason you and your partner are just not connected, you’re on two different pages. My approach is to just do silly things throughout the day to find a moment to reconnect. So, the song is basically saying, ‘I know eventually you’ll fall for me, and you’ll want me back.’” “13 Months of Sunshine” “I’m a big fan of instrumental music, and this is a modern take on the music I grew up listening to, culturally. It’s psychedelic, it’s in the pentatonic scale. I’m trying to bridge Ethiopian music and Pink Floyd all in one swoop. On The Dark Side of the Moon, one of my favorite songs is ‘Any Colour You Like,’ and it’s just this random instrumental that happens in the middle of the album. And I feel like it’s such a great palate cleanse. So, that was my inspiration for putting this in the middle of the album.” “Lotus” “I was on a Zoom session with this guy named Monsune from Toronto. He had this beat that had this piano riff in it. And his version was a little more like Majid Jordan, it was a little more upbeat. But I was like, ‘Let me take a stab at this and send you something later.’ And that same night, I sent him a song that was just like one long sentence—it just wrote itself, like a poem. After that, I brought it to Pierre and we made it a more scenic experience and made the emotions even more potent.” “Gone” / “Gone Remix” (feat. Jensen McRae) “‘Gone’ also wrote itself. If you read it, it’s also just one long sentence. It’s so simple. And the remix is technically part of the record, too—or part of the same era. I was having a pizza night at my place, and I was just scrolling through Instagram, and I saw Jensen singing [Tracy Chapman’s] ‘Fast Car,’ and I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my god—this girl’s voice is doing something to me.’ I immediately called my manager and I asked, ‘What do you think about getting her on the ‘Gone’ remix?’ And I think within the same night, he had made the introductions.” “Wasting Time” “During the pandemic, we went up to Joshua Tree and I was listening to random vinyls. And, for some reason, The Dark Side of the Moon kept playing, and I just felt connected to that particular record. And in that moment, ‘Wasting Time’ happened. I really wanted this record to complement Synthetic Soul, because when we go on the road, I wanted to make sure that you get a really dynamic experience, instead of it being, like, all R&B. There isn’t one song that completely represents me. I’m represented by the sum of all the parts, and ‘Wasting Time’ is part of who I am.” “The Best Ain’t Happened Yet” “This song is self-reflective—you’re talking to yourself and saying, ‘Hey, remember what you just went through, and remember all the lessons that you learned? I know that things get hard, but you know this, because you’re the same person that told other people, “Don’t worry about it—it’s going to be all right.”’ So, this is like the moment where you’re looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, ‘Yo, I know you’re going through some s**t, but just remember that the best ain’t happened yet.’”

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