The Hopefuls, formerly known as The Olympic Hopefuls, are an indie-pop group from Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Hopefuls won both the Artist of the Year and Best Pop Artist awards at the 2005 Minnesota Music Awards.
Darren Jackson and Erik Appelwick, (of Minnesota bands Kid Dakota and Vicious Vicious, respectively) began recording and performing under the name of Camaro in the early 2000s. As their popularity on the Minneapolis music scene increased, they changed their names to The Olympic Hopefuls and were picked up by 2024 records, a local independent label. They released their debut album, The Fuses Refuse to Burn in 2004.
In 2005 the band was forced to shorten its name to The Hopefuls after being informed that the United States Olympic Committee owned the trademark to the word "Olympic."
The song "Let's Go!" was featured on the second seasons of both The O.C. and Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County.
The song "Drain the Sea" was featured on the first disc of the "For New Orleans" charity cd set produced by "Sugarfoot Music".
In April 2006, Appelwick left The Hopefuls to play bass for Tapes 'n Tapes.
On December 20, 2008, The Hopefuls released their second album Now Playing at the One-Seat Theatre on local independent label Draw Fire Records. Due to their busy schedules, all four band members were never present in the recording studio at the same time during the album's recording.
Darren Jackson: guitar and vocals.,
Heath Henjum: bass.,
John Hermanson: keyboards, vocals.,
Eric Fawcett: drums.,
Erik Appelwick: guitar and vocals (until 2006).,
Matt O'Laughlin: drums (until 2005).,
The Hopefuls' music is peppy, light, and often deliberately corny. They define their music as "fun music for fun times" and keep their songs upbeat and fast-paced. They often use xylophone fills, synthesizers, and hand claps to, as their webpage says, "keep heads bopping and asses shaking."
On their first album, Jackson and Appelwick switch off writing and singing songs; Appelwick sings the odd-numbered songs and Jackson sings the even-numbered. Their songs are typically about romance and the problems associated with it.