“‘Hoboken’ is arguably the most vulnerable song I’ve ever made, peering into unconditional love,” the singer shared
Ever the romantic, Franklin Jonas named a love song after Hoboken, New Jersey. In a statement about his latest single, “Hoboken,” the singer described the record as “arguably the most vulnerable song I’ve ever made,” though it is only the second single he’s ever released. Still, the song comes together with the help of a children’s choir and Jonas’ own unabashed reflections on unconditional love.
“It was originally a gift for my girlfriend when we first started dating, meant to represent our finding each other through distance and the circumstances that we both had to overcome,” Jonas shared. “While I went on an extended trip, traveling solo around Europe, we began a journey together through FaceTime that we would often joke would lead us to getting a place in Hoboken because it seemed like heaven to us.”
The accompanying visual for the record features someone dressed in a rat costume handing out tulips in New York’s Washington Square Park, just a couple of miles from the New Jersey city the couple has made out to be their own personal paradise. “Hoboken à la Pee-Wee Herman,” Jonas sings. “Showboating just for you/Bachelor didn’t air on Monday/Whatever will you and I do?”
“Hoboken” carries similar sonic elements from the singer’s debut single “Cocaine,” though it maintains a more traditional structure than the frequently distorted record. Where that record’s complicated sound reflected the weight of its subject matter, and where Jonas explores his experience with addiction, “Hoboken” matches the romantic tone of its lyrics with more airy production.
“The original demo for ‘Hoboken’ started with a sample coupled with my normal barrage of torrented drum samples; OutKast/Nas kicks and snares and a whole lot of Earl Sweatshirt percussion,” Jonas explained. “On the first day of production together, Charlie and I were listening to all of the demos, and we were sharing ideas. When it got to the bridge I said, ‘Here’s the children’s choir.’ He laughed thinking I was joking. I stayed true to the idea and eventually, it became clear that the famed Musyca Children’s Choir was willing and excited to be a part of ‘Hoboken.’”