Kramies Windt is on to something here. The songwriter’s debut five-track EP for Hidden Shoal marries wafting synth textures and an acoustic guitar bedrock to well-honed direct songcraft, making every cut a keeper. Kramies’ efforts (aided by longtime collaborators Dave Paolucci and producer Todd Tobias) are best realized on the title track, where his journey to stirring-anthem Valhalla finds his voice first recalling Tim Booth of James before ascending to full-on Bono territory. Elsewhere, the chilly expanse of “Coal Miners Executive Club” and its comforting refrain of “We can pace ourselves” swirl inside the head, and “Antiquarian Days” evokes John Lennon at his most reflective. Unlike some more well-known peddlers of similar aesthetic pedigree (Coldplay, I’m looking at you), Mr. Windt’s grand sweeping gestures are never empty, and his hooks are never cheap. It’s no wonder that with each subsequent listen, I find myself enjoying The European more and more.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.
// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article