Album Review: The Franklin Electric – This Is How I Let You Down (2016 LP)

Canadian four-piece The Franklin Electric have been moving and shaking in the folk scene since 2012, entering and winning a Nashville songwriting competition with over 8000 other bands from around the world. Flavoured with alternative pop, their debut LP This Is How I Let You Down layers perceptive lyrics with string-based harmonies, emotive piano chords and their self-proclaimed secret weapon, the trumpet.

Using acoustic instruments as the foundation for each song, this record incorporates hints of pop with textured synth and inflections of the electric guitar. Lead singer Jon Matte is a heartfelt storyteller, his honest and poignant lyricism delivered in clear silky vocals. The trumpet definitely adds an interesting dynamic, emitting a bright metallic tune that is orchestrated throughout the record. Though this LP features soulful ballads that make for easy listening, many of them don’t quiet have the hook that has me itching for more.

Gliding to a start with a temporal harmony on the guitar, “Strongest Man” features delicate vocals and mystical synth, building to a crescendo with thumping drums, ringing cymbal and a stately tune on the trumpet. “This Is How I Let You Down” has a melancholy feel to it, coupling a gentle melody on the piano with tender lyrics that lay bare heartache and dejection. The chorus ups the anti with a rhythmic drumbeat inflected with subtle twangs of the electric guitar.

Soft piano chords are played tenderly in “Alone”, a track that is thick with emotion, expressing self-doubt and anguish at the thought of having to endure hardship without a loved one by your side. The crash of the cymbal resonates, layering the pitter-patter of drums with a consistent harmony on the acoustic guitar. “Running” takes off slowly with soothing strings and melodious synth, cascading throughout the track with a bright timber alike the violin. A medley of the drums, trumpet and tambourine soon follows, with the addition of lusciously smooth female vocals.

Fusing insightful lyricism, effortlessly smooth vocals and dynamic instrumentals, This Is How I Let You Down is a credit to musically talented Canadian band, The Franklin Electric. Though each song could display a little more individuality in terms of their soundscapes, the 13-track album spins a sincere narrative that is deeply intuitive to human emotion. While maintaining folk flavored acoustics, this record spices things up with electric strings, resonant synth and killer trumpet. All in all, it was well worth the listen.

Review Score: 7.1 out of 10

This Is How I Let You Down is available now. The Franklin Electric recently completed a tour of Australia.


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