Hope Of The States were an indie rock band from Chichester in England. The band consisted of six members: Sam Herlihy (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Anthony Theaker (guitar, keyboards), Paul Wilson (bass), Mike Siddell (violin), Michael Hibbert (replacing the late James Lawrence on guitar), and Simon Jones (drums).
Preceded by the singles Black Dollar Bills and Enemies/Friends, the album's release was postponed in 2004 following Jimmi Lawrence's death; however, the group recorded new experimental material and bounced back four months later with album 'The Lost Riots' and single 'The Red The White The Black The Blue'. Later, Nehemiah was released as another single.
The band spent most of 2005 writing and demoing material for their second album, the vast majority of which was given to their fans in the form of more free 'Dust Rackets' albums and YouSendIt downloads. A limited edition EP, Blood Meridian, was released in April 2006. The followup single 'Sing It Out' charted at #39 in the UK and new album 'Left' was expected to gain a similar position. However, the album failed to make the UK top 40 amidst a lukewarm critical response, many of whom were disappointed that the band had moved away from the intense, post-rock stylings of their earlier material.
The band released their final single 'Left' on August 18th, before breaking up later that week. They played their last gig on the 27th at the reading and Leeds Festival. The band have not yet formally announced whether they have any plans for the future.
Troubles, a side project formed in early 2006, initially consisted of Sam and the two Mikes, but now includes the entirety of Hope of the States (minus Ant and Paul and with new members Joel, HOTS engineer "JamesLeR", "Winters", "MJ Hibbert Esq" and "J Thomas".). With an ambient electronic sound similar to the earliest Hope of the States demos, the band have recently completed a mini-tour and are set to properly release the album of material being sold at these gigs in 2007.
Sam's Autechre-influenced solo project 'Blocks' continues also, with a number of tracks in the public domain and new material recently previewed at an intimate London venue. Mike Siddell has recently contributed to a number of other bands' arrangements, including Tim and Sam's Tim and the Sam Band with Tim and Sam.
The community lives on; with former base the Halfway Home now remaining open only for access to Thee Dust Rackets records, the band's forum has been moved to the new pan-community site forwardirektion: covering HOTS, Troubles, Blocks, CERN and more.