Album Review: Franklin Gothic – ‘Into the Light’

Posted: by The Editor

Franklin Gothic’s first LP Into the Light lets you know from the calm opener “Beneath” that Jay DiBartolo chose his moniker correctly. There’s something refined and intentionally pressed about Franklin Gothic. Hearing “Beneath” perfectly blend into “Spark” introduces the multi-instrumentalist’s punctuation style: he uses the instrumentals as razors ready to cut, similar to how an orchestra naturally allows for narrativization. Those razors are guarded by his calming voice and lyricism throughout the twelve songs.

The influences come far and wide from Americana to shoegaze, piano ballads to ’90s alt-rock, and more. Into the Light never gets bogged down by rigid genre confines, and that fits nicely with lyrical themes of opening up and adopting a less cynical mindset. Genre is often just jargon and gets unanchored from pointed meaning, so to be unanchored about it, we can say “very west coast” and be coy. 

If Dan Croll studied music on the American west coast and not England, liked shoegaze and Shabazz Palaces more, and had a totally different voice, we may get to a soundscape similar to “Slow Down Bang Bang.” In other words, it’s good. This is an interesting, relaxing, dissonant LP that clicks together time and time again. 

Disappointing / Average / Good / Great / Phenomenal

Into the Light is out Friday on Very Jazzed and Pleasure Tapes.

Anne Hurban | @fyrbrdtransanne

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