Kramies is a Dutch singer songwriter from Ohio, who on his latest album has created eight tunes which he states are a like a “polaroid scrapbook of his life”. With inspiration for each song originating in the different life stages and situations he’s encountered over the years it could have made for a disjointed listen, yet Kramies strength is in managing to bind the themes and emotions all together with his own brand of musical glue. 

Finding like-minded souls to work with in the form of Patrick Carney from The Black Keys, and Jason Lytle from Grandaddy on ‘Days Of’, Kamies heartfelt gentle folk rock, has slide guitars, melting into a dreamscape of sweeping synths and soaring vocals, as vast as the American plains and country roads, yet Kramies americana style musical odyssey is coupled with emotive lyrics on heartbreak, hope, addiction and loss without ever feeling too melancholy. “Before sunrise you’ll have another friend, but you’ll come back to me and try to hide our end” he sings on ‘Horses To Maine’ against a delicately beautiful backing of slide guitars, organ and xylophone. 

There’s an element of Shack’s gentle sweeping musical tones coupled with lyrics ranging from wrongdoings, soul searching and turning daily routines into activities of mesmerising wonder, and even a hint of Sufjan Steven’s hushed serenity on ‘You’d Be The Fall’ with Kramies singing “everybody knows I’d be the winter, the spring and the summer so you wouldn’t do it all alone” over acoustic guitars and cathedral style cavernous echo. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of the sentiments delivered with such sparse musical surroundings, there’s a warmth and tenderness there. ‘Flowers From The Orphan’ is a similarly touching tune of loss and hope with Allison Lorenzen helping out on vocal duties for the gorgeous refrains of “wherever I’ll be, you’re not that far from me”. 

Drinking from the same musical fountain as Grandaddy, Sparklehorse and Mercury Rev, yet with a grandeur of his own making, Kramies, has created an album of cinematic beauty.

Kramies: Krames – Out Now (Vangerrett Records)


From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.