Based in Virginia, Franklin Gotham is a bit of a minor “super group”, with each of the band’s three members coming in from well established acts. Singer-songwriter Kevin Adkins, multi-instrumentalist Jarrett Nicolay, and drummer Christopher draw from a wide range of musical genres in Heart In A Box, Franklin Gotham’s debut self-made release.
The album begins with the title track, an upbeat and bright pop-rock track with hints of alt-country and folk elements peppered throughout. Kevin’s smooth and melodic voice combines naturally with a chorus of percussion, guitars, lush string sections, and sweet vocal harmonies that generate a thick, resounding soundscape that begs to be turned up as the song progresses to its optimistic ending.
Continuing in a similar musical vein, “Swan Song” features a traditional chord progression, created by acoustic guitar strumming, harmonious electric guitar riffs, and steady drums. Layered vocals propel the track’s energy along, and Kevin highlights his ability to mold his voice’s emotion to the feeling of the song at any particular moment with apparent ease, arguably making this catchy tune the best on the whole record.
In the final song on the EP, Franklin Gotham decided to take a hard turn from their conventional style, and instead of continuing in the alt-country rock vibe, the band ventures into pop electronica. Kevin sings in a foreign tongue over synthesized beats and tones and a host of acoustic sounds, making for a unique and genuinely interesting listen.
From the first note to the final word, Heart In A Box is a very enjoyable debut record from an extremely talented and experienced group of musicians. The maturity of Franklin Gotham is exhibited throughout the record, and as the album progresses through each of the three tracks, different aspects of the band’s sound are brought into the spotlight and are highlighted. Fans of many genres will find Franklin Gotham to be exciting, familiar, and novel, a sophisticated combination that speaks to the band’s talent and skill.
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