|Released: June 21, 2015
Produced by: Franklin Gotham
Still Beating Heart
|Kevin Adkins – Lead Vocals, Piano, Melodica
Jarrett Nicolay – Guitars, Keyboards
Christopher Speich – Drums, Percussion
Franklin Gotham‘s impressive debut EP, Something You Remember, is just that â€“ something to remember as it may be the start of something greater to come. The sound captured in this brief, five song glimpse into the creative potential of songwriter Kevin Adkins, multi instrumentalist, Jarrett Nicolay and drummer Christopher Speich is simple, yet full of hooks and bits of ear candy. The Virginia-based trio is a bit of minor “super group”, with each member coming in from other well established acts.
The music features upbeat, hopeful lyrics and simple story telling and is complemented by a minimalistic production technique as well as rustic, soothing acoustic instrumentation accented by sparing use of synths. Millennials may hear bits of Death Cab for Cutie and Wilco while those with a longer listening history may be reminded of Joe Jackson and Marshall Crenshaw.
The opening track, “Casanova”, is a simple story about the feeling of meeting someone and making a connection and then the frustration that is felt when that person leaves. The soothing vocals float along with the steady percussion and sweet and subtle guitar blends and is highlighted by a short melodica lead and just a hint of synth. While the song’s vibe is steady and sweet, the strategic profanity gives it just enough edge for rock n roll.
“Forced Metaphors” is a song that can be appreciated by English majors and word nerds as it cleverly plays with metaphors and analogies as it marches along to a steady percussive beat, hypnotic rhythms and rich melodies. “Jamie” is the closest thing to a ballad in this collection with a beautiful melody of picked and strummed acoustic against some steady percussion. A highlight of this track is Adkins’ dynamic vocal turn near the end of the bridge section.
“Want Ad” contains some heavy new wave elements and is an almost comical look at the ups and downs of relationships with a catchy guitar and heavy bass hook. “Still Beating Heart” ends this collection on a philosophical note with subtle but crisp beats, introspective lyrics and rich harmonies in the chorus.
Overall, this EP leaves the listener eager to hear what will come next from this promising band.