Thursday, April 04, 2024

Hobo Johnson Embodies The Authenticity We’ve Been Waiting For

An iconic return as Hobo Johnson re-enters the music scene as the frontman for Hobo Johnson and the Lovermakers with new tracks ‘Dad’s Bed’ and ‘Metaverse’

With their most recent prior releases being from 2021, this comeback is not only stirring up much excitement amongst fans but is one that will undoubtedly stand the test of time. Making music under the pseudonym Hobo Johnson, Frank Lopes Jr. released the album ‘The Rise of Hobo Johnson’ in 2016 and independently from record companies, one that was re-released the following year and led to the first of many awards alongside his record deal. 

This then came with tours, more creations and a huge fan base around the world, so it comes as no surprise that these new songs are incredibly exciting. With his trademark spoken word style combined with emo rap, the artist’s talent is insurmountable; his unique style, creative vision and stage name make for the perfect recipe for deserved fame. 

The first of these songs is ‘Dad’s Bed’, a piece evoking so much emotion and passion both within Johnson and his listeners. It comes after the recent passing of his dad, a figure that seems to have shaped a lot of the musician’s work, and the way his family dealt with the grief. It begins with “One day you’ll lose your father in a similar fashion / It’ll take a couple months and then suddenly happen”, immediately setting the scene for a heart-breaking story told through his ingenious musical talents. Behind these lyrics, a broken melody can be heard with the instruments creating this sound of almost incomplete anguish, mirroring the idea of how incomplete life sometimes feels after losing a parent. As it goes through, this same sound is heard repeated to emphasise the excruciating pain experienced, until the artist begins talking of his mother and sister. “Me, my mom, my sister / We’re taking it tough” comes with a heavy beat on the drums and this fuller sound, perhaps suggesting how family during these difficult times can be such a great source of comfort and reliability. Johnson’s pain is immortalised beautifully as his personal passionate and intense vocality increases towards the end; a crescendo of noise allows listeners to feel every word sung so deeply.

‘Metaverse’ carries an individuality with its wit and futuristic outlook on life providing fans with this sense of inquisition about what is to become of humanity. It offers a satirical insight into how humans will cope going forward into the digital world; “The Metaverse / can you imagine fucking something worse?” demonstrates this meaningful idea of how technology is rotting the brains of every generation now. And it's something that Johnson repeats often in this track, sometimes alone and sometimes with varying instruments behind it, thus implying how the digital world fits itself within society any chance it gets. One can see how influential it is, whilst Johnson implies that this is no good for anybody. He encourages everyone to question this, with pinging sounds underneath his words symbolising the way media has woven itself through every strand of society now even more. Incorporating his notorious authenticity here listeners are drawn to each element of this creation. 

Hobo Johnson and the Lovemakers have been providing the world with such raw and intense music for years, and this latest release leads all to hope for more and more in the years to come. 

Abby Tapping 


Image: ‘Hobo Johnson Drinks’ Official Album Cover

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