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Hope is on her way

Slowly but surely, a local singer-songwriter steps into the foreground

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Hope: taking pride in her performance.
Photo: Aaron Thompson

Amongst the bright colors, skimpy clothes and flamboyant environment surrounding Saturday’s gay pride festivities, Tracey Hope, clad in subdued gold and black, seems out of place.

While the crowds at the Clark County Government Center Amphitheater dance to the muscular beats of Daft Punk remixes, Hope quietly tunes a Gibson guitar and checks her mics. When a transgendered MC asks if she’s ready, or a surly Elvis impersonator tells her band to stop tinkering with a drum mic, Hope exudes strange cool in delivering a non-answer answer. And don’t forget the condoms she’s brought—all affixed with stickers advertising her name and MySpace address.

“It’s the best kind of marketing I could think of,” Hope says. “It may at least get people to remember us.”

That’s what the 23-year-old singer, songwriter and UNLV business-management student—born Tracey Hope Miravite in a New York City suburb—is after these days: exposure. She only learned to play guitar when her parents opted for one over the drum kit she really coveted; it wasn’t until she and her family moved to Las Vegas in 2004 that she truly ventured into music. What came out was a fuzzy, Brit-rock sound both addicting and adventurous.

“When I got here, I hated it. This city … took a lot to get used to,” Hope says. Five years, hundreds of songs and one released EP (Stolen Space, available on iTunes) later, Hope is a consistent force in Vegas music, even if most locals haven’t heard of her—yet. “I like to be sort of low-key about things,” she says.

Though Vegas’ indie profile has advanced dramatically in recent years, Hope—partially intentionally, partially not—hasn’t been swept up in it. “I was trying to get into the indie circuit, but I was nervous. I feel out of place all the time,” Hope says. “I was trying to figure out who I was musically, but I also wanted to focus more on music and go on writing frenzies. You can’t really do that when you’re playing live all the time.”

That could be why, after hosting three shows this month, Hope plans to retreat into the studio to work on a full-length album. When she emerges, she’ll be ready to perform again—perhaps reuniting with the condoms that bear her name. “It’s a great promotional item,” she says. “Way more useful than giving out guitar picks.”

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