Growing up, Shlomo Franklin’s identity depended on where you met him. In Monsey, NY, he was a Hasidic Jew who spent his days studying Yiddish and the Torah at an ultra-Orthodox religious school. Roughly 75 miles north in Bethel, NY, he was a farmboy milking cows and baling hay in the rolling fields that surrounded the site of the iconic Woodstock festival. In his head, though, Shlomo Franklin was always a dreamer. Without access to TV, radio, or popular culture, he used his imagination to transcend the boundaries of his youth and create a world all his own. Now at the tender age of 22, he’s vividly brought that world to life with his stunning debut EP, ‘Don’t Love Anybody.’ Produced by GRAMMY-winner C Lanzbom, the stripped-down collection filters ’60s and ’70s folk rock through a thoroughly modern lens, tipping its cap to some of American music’s most iconoclastic songwriters.
Franklin’s songs situate him in a long lineage of troubadours and poets, who manage to make sense of our nonsensical world, who tackle well-worn emotional territory from the kind of fresh perspective that makes it feel like virgin ground. He wrings every ounce of honesty and emotion from the music when he sings, delivering a series of intimate, unforgettable performances. At some turns a gentle tremble, at others an eerie, raspy wail, his voice is hopeful but experienced, weary but insistent, often sounding as if it’s lived dozens more lifetimes than the man it belongs to.