Robert John Hope is a Co. Mayo born and raised, Berlin based singer-songwriter whose music is rooted in ambient folk and alternative pop/rock. In Ireland, he will be known mostly as the man with the distinctive voice and poetic lyrics who fronted the band Senakah, with whom he toured Ireland, the UK and US extensively in the past. He is now back with his debut solo album ‘Plasticine Heart’.
In his musical career to date he can look back on an range of international press commentary - the British Mail On Sunday described him as having a vocal range veering from “Matt Bellamy style dramatics, to Eddie Vedder and Thom Yorke”, while Hotpress Magazine described his vocals as “ethereal”.
From 2007 to 2014, Hope performed mainly as the frontman of Senakah, with the second of their two albums ‘Human Relations’ being produced in 2011 by Noel Hogan of The Cranberries. On extensive tours of the US, they performed over 300 concerts across 40 States with acts such as Arrested Development and the late Bernie Worrell, also performing at the legendary Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, and at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas.
Hope’s debut solo album ‘Plasticine Heart’, released on April 23rd, 2021, developed over a couple of years during which he released his first solo EP ‘The Unravelling’ in 2018. The album’s title for him reflects the changes one invariably goes through as time passes, and for better or worse the malleable nature of perspective, and the human heart.
Recordings took place at ‘All Around Music’ - a studio which has been built into the bow of the MS Heiterkeit, a ship which is anchored on the Spree river in Treptower Park, Berlin. "It has an extremely relaxed and inspiring atmosphere" Hope remarks. "You can sit on deck in-between sessions, go for a walk in the nearby park, and most importantly, try out spontaneous ideas and explore new avenues as nobody is watching the clock. Also, as large boats pass by, everything sways a little."
The intimate and familial atmosphere experienced during the recordings is palpable, especially in the quieter moments of the album, capturing a directness not always easy to achieve. With ‘Plasticine Heart’, Robert John Hope presents a lively, haunting folk-rock album, described by Rolling Stone Magazine in Germany as "Americana with real greatness, and a lot of sensitivity".
Concerts for summer and autumn 2021 are currently being planned, with a new album set to be recorded at the legendary Hansa Studios in Berlin in August.