“A match made in heaven” may be fanciful, but the blended musicality of Ashley and Eric L’Esperancecomes close to validating this old saying. The pair first felt the electricity of their undeniable chemistry at an impromptu song swap. A year and a half later they were married and released their debut album Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going. Jessica Phaneuf, MVY Radio, said “I listen to A LOT of music, and this [album] would be at the top of the pile” and Sound of Boston said the set “offers something for romantics andrealists alike.” In the years following this release, The Promise is Hope began to earn their place among New England’s finest emerging acts, with a live performance that is often described as beautifully moving, inspired, and connected. They were invited to perform at Club Passim’s 2016 & 2018 Campfire Festival, the 2017 Connecticut Folk Festival; and have shared the stage with renowned folk artists such as Amy Speace, Antje Duvekot, Parsonfield, The Mallet Brothers, and Gaelynn Lea among many others.

Their music marries two distinctly talented songwriters whose sound is shaped by tastes of folk, acoustic and pop. Ashley performs subtle yet stunning melodies with a classically-trained, but often folksy voice. Her poetic lyrics explore the deep mysteries within nature and human relationship. Eric’s obvious reverence for the beloved songwriters of the 60’s and 70’s shines through his sweetly deep voice. His prose-like lyrics unravel the joys and struggles of life’s journeys, and take what appears to be freeform and make it flow beautifully into well-crafted pieces. Together, the two artists complement each other in every respect. PopMatters says, “It is folk music, but folk that doesn’t find any quick or easy comparisons. Instead, it might besaid that the L’Esperance’s have found their unique path within the storied tradition.” Red Line Roots says “I am awestruck with the harmonies that Ashley & Eric L’Esperance are able to blend and spin together. Truly beautiful and moving…”

The Promise is Hope’s debut was a joyful record, but in a two-year span following its release the two lost four family members to tragic deaths in quick succession. With hearts reeling from personal tragedy, the couple turned to songwriting to work out their grief and lingering questions. This cathartic process resulted in the duo’s sophomore album, Every Seed Must Die, a stunning collection of tracks that are a testament to the trials of the human spirit. The album is unique for its intimate and restrained production. The delicate nature of the subject matter is explored through rich, heartfelt vocals laid over a soft quilt of finger-picked guitars, piano, cello, and Mellotron. The retro-inspired vibe is soul-soothing; listening to Ashley and Eric’s delicately intertwined voices is an experience any lover of fine harmonies will appreciate.

Every Seed Must Die was created to weather a slate of life’s toughest moments, and that has become a driving force of The Promise Is Hope: to make music that helps others work through stormy seasons and see a way forward. The songs are being met with positive critical reception. Mother Church Pew says “With spare,acoustic instrumentation enhanced by crisp and focused production, the pair’s delicate harmonies are allowed to soar,a testament to their true musical talent;” and Don Crow, Nashville Blues Society has called the album“breathtakingly stunning.”

After an album release show at the historic Club Passim on June 10th, the L’Esperances will be performingselect shows around New England and the mid-Atlantic in promotion of the new record.

LIVE VIDEOS

“The soaring harmonies from The Promise is Hope illuminated the skies over Portland.”
– Steve Dedman, Booker for Vital Connections Through Music Series – Portland, CT

“The Promise is Hope came out of nowhere to blow us away. With a
polished, mature sound, their catchy songs were a bit hit with our audience.”

– Ben Ruddock, Createive Director – Riverwalk Cafe & Music Bar, Nashua NH

Single take audio of ‘Brother’ performed live

LISTEN

Samples from the album “Every Seed Must Die” (May 2018)

“breathtakingly stunning” – Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society

“With spare, acoustic instrumentation enhanced by crisp and focused production, the pair’s delicate harmonies are allowed to soar, a testament to their true musical talent.” – Mother Church Pew

Samples from the album “Where We’ve Been & Where We’re Going” (April 2015)

“I listen to A LOT of music and this album would be towards the top of the pile.”
-Jessica Phaneuf, WUMB (now MVY Radio)

PRESS QUOTES & COVERAGE

Music video for “Brother” debuted on DittyTV.com in May 2018.

“…[R]ich, emotional voices and the subtle instrumentation beneath them. It is folk music, but folk that doesn’t find any quick or easy comparisons. Instead, it might be said that the L’Esperance’s have found their unique path within the storied tradition.”
-Jedd Beaudoin, Pop Matters May 2018

‘Brother’ featured in Blue Ridge Outdoors May 2018 “Trail Mix”

Regarding Every Seed Must Die, “the album is stunning!”
– Jessica Phaneuf, Music Director/DJ MVY Radio

Regarding Every Seed Must Die, “We mark this as a ‘must listen.'”
– Under the Radar Media

“You’re going to LOVE these guys.”
– Dave Trout, Under the Radar Media, Gourmet Music Podcast Ep. 14

“Their songs are lined with rich vocal harmonies, often times interweaving into one collective and solitary sound of 2 guitars and 2 voices.”
-Brian Carroll, Red Line Roots Premiere’s ‘Brother’ Video, May 2018

“With spare, acoustic instrumentation enhanced by crisp and focused production, the pair’s delicate harmonies are allowed to soar, a testament to their true musical talent.”
-Mother Church Pew, ‘Brother’ Premiere, April 2018

Every Seed Must Die features eleven original songs of love, life, loss, despair, hope, and, ultimately redemption. Their voices blend so well together that lovers of exquisite harmonies will relish these cuts…breathtakingly stunning.”
-Don & Sheryl Crow, Nashville Blues Society, April 2018

“…a classic college coffeehouse folk album.  Down mouth without being shoegaze, it does offer hope that the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t an oncoming train.”
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record Vol. 41/No. 171

Every Seed Must Die is a remarkably brave and beautiful album. It takes courage to read your personal diary through song, and share your heart without censoring and sanitizing your honesty with your listeners. Eric and Ashley succeed in creating an album that is a musical journey that positions us as spectators of their personal melodic and lyrical revelation that with each chapter of life that closes, a new chapter begins. And this new chapter points towards a hope that outpaces the doubts, difficulties, and losses of life.”
Ian Zumback, Singer-Songwriter/Performer

Every Seed Must Die is captivating. Somehow melancholy and hopeful at the same time.” -Luke Condon, songwriter/performer for Town Meeting

“The Promise is Hope came out of nowhere to blow us away. With a polished, mature sound, their catchy songs were a big hit with our audience.”
-Ben Ruddock, Creative Director – Riverwalk Cafe and Music Bar, Nashua NH

“Strikingly upbeat and cheery, their stage performance evokes a cherished, nearly nostalgic style, like the 60s folk acts.”
-Reid Simpson, Hear and There Photography, November 2017

“The couple’s vocals dance above the sweetly plucked acoustic guitar and piano — there’s an intimacy and chemistry that’s evident between them. [They] have bared their souls on “Mary-Ann,” and all they ask of us is to listen.”
-Anna Marketti, ‘Allston Pudding’: “Premiere: ‘Mary-Ann’ – The Promise is Hope’ Feb. 2017

“Uniquely intimate…it really makes you feel as if you’re part of a tiny gathering with these musicians, even if you’re just listening through MP3 or something”
– Andrew Sun, Founder of the Dartmouth Bluegrass Society
‘The Dartmouth’ Show Preview: October 2016

“I am awestruck with the harmonies that Ashley & Eric L’Esperance are able to blend and spin together. Truly beautiful and moving…
there is an effortless feel to how they sing together, like they were made to create music as a seamless grouping.”
– Brian Carroll, ‘Red Line Roots’ Feature: June 2015

The album “feels honest…[and] offers something for both romantics and realists alike.”
‘Sound of Boston’ Album Review: June 2015

“The duo has captured something exceedingly personal…”
– Sarah Connell, ‘Worcester Love’ interview: “Worcester’s Acoustic Power Couple” June 2015

PHOTOS

ACCOLADES & AWARDS

Nominated for 2018 Worcester Music Awards
Best Americana Act & Best Acoustic Act

Winners of the 2017 Best of Central Mass “Best Entertainer”

Winners of the 2017 Worcester Music Awards
Best Up & Coming Act & Best Pop Act

Finalists in the CT Folk Festival Audition Night (out of 70 applicants & 10 auditions), March 2017
Selected to perform at the CT Folk Festival, September 2017

HAVE SHARED THE STAGE WITH

CONTACT & SOCIALS