In All Good Hope, the forthcoming debut album from singer, songwriter, and musician José Lobo, is a masterclass in intimacy. From the highly personal lyrical themes and sparse, delicate instrumentation, to the singing, which sounds like a friend whispering a secret into your ear, the experience of listening to In All Good Hope is akin to entering an inner sanctum, or what Lobo aptly refers to as “a reverie of the quotidian.” Originally hailing from Venezuela, Lobo has spent the better part of the last decade in a somewhat nomadic mode, splitting his time between his current homebase of Montreal, San Francisco’s Mission District, Paris, and also Hamilton, Ontario, where much of the album was recorded.
The title is a phrase he said a lot as a reply when someone asked him how he was doing, which literally translates to “All good, all good, nothing bad” from “todo bien todo bien nada mal.” It’s one of those phrases where depending where the comma is placed or the way that it is said, it can mean “Just pushing through” or “I’m thriving.” The lyrics really speak to those two corners of Lobo’s emotional landscape.
“I wanted to say that sometimes I feel like a third party of my own story,” says Lobo. “Sometimes I am the friend, sometimes I am bound to it like a tenant, and only sometimes do I feel like I know what it is that I came to the world to do.”