Franklin Gothic announces debut album with the bittersweet indie popper “Mr. Hangman”

Franklin Gothic is the project of Portland-based artist Jay DiBartolo, and today he has announced that he’ll be releasing his debut album Into The Light on August 19 through Very Jazzed and Pleasure Tapes. He’s also shared the lead single, “Mr. Hangman”, revealing:

“The original version we intended to record for “Mr. Hangman” was this sweet, little boppy tune, which had been bugging me because it felt inauthentic. After laying down the drums in the studio, I took the song back home and experimented a bit on guitar by noodling with various phrasings over the existing chord progression. That’s when this dissonant feeling emerged that juxtaposed the original version and captured what the song’s about. I sent it to Erik and he replied back with a champagne emoji, so I knew that was it.”

Adorned with bells, violins and a killer melody, “Mr. Hangman” could have easily been a straightforward pop song, but Franklin Gothic’s lyricism and vocal tone open a deeper well of emotion, and make it much more relatable. Most of us have a fatalist side, and here Franklin Gothic is serenading the titular “Mr. Hangman”, accepting the return of that gloominess to his mind. Melancholy is not all bad though, there’s a certain beauty to being “the fools getting sad and lonelier”, and Franklin Gothic uses his deft melodic and rhythmic acumen to assure the song balances the demure tones with an infectiously swaying groove, bringing that bittersweetness to grinning life.

Listen to “Mr. Hangman” below or on streaming platforms.

Franklin Gothic’s debut album Into The Light arrives on August 19 through Very Jazzed and Pleasure Tapes. You can find the project on Bandcamp, Twitter and Instagram.