It began in a castle in Ireland — and in this castle is where dream pop purveyor Kramies began writing what would become the foundation of his forthcoming EP, “Of All The Places Been & Everything The End.” Taking inspiration from his fable-enshrouded surroundings, he created songs which addressed aspects of folklore and legend and which allowed the antiquity of his narratives to coexist with the haunting pop atmospheres that populate these musical musings. He returned home to America and began collaborating with a host of different producers/musicians including Jason Lytle of Grandaddy, Todd Tobias of Guided by Voices and Jerry Becker of Train.
Moving effortlessly between reflective introspection and fairy tale mythology, the tracks are dense but not overwrought, capable of instilling unearthly joy and evoking an eerie pensiveness in its audience. There is a sense of history here, of tangled lives and experiences which reach back hundreds of years. And while Kramies embraces the sometimes archaic nature of the songs, there is never a moment when he feels too beholden to the history of his own influences. He works through a delicate balance of melancholia and euphoria, using their common emotional roots to ground these wonderfully tangled stories. “Of All The Places Been & Everything The End” is the culmination of his efforts and will be released Oct. 19 via Hidden Shoal Records.
Recently, Kramies took some time to discuss a few of his most influential albums for The Southern Sounding. Check out his choices and thoughts below.
David Bowie - “Hunky Dory”
“I cherish it because that’s how I taught myself to sing. The melody and emotion behind the vocals entranced me as a young kid. Being able to hear studio noise (the phone ringing in the background) is something that stuck with me my entire life. The songwriter taught me about non-structure and just creating from the emotional heart.”
Jane’s Addiction - “Nothing’s Shocking”
“This is the first time I experienced an emotional heaviness in music with an amazing amount of art. I studied this album as a kid. I had one cassette in my car’s tape deck for 3 years, and it was ‘Nothing Shocking’.”
Led Zeppelin - “III” (the B side)
“This is so perfect by being imperfect. It has this depth of heaviness and intention that I find beautiful. This was truly the album that made me fall In love with creating a nostalgic atmosphere and acoustics using subtle effects of different tunings. I still play this all the time today. It totally captures its surroundings and environment.”
Disneyland Records - “Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House”
“This was the first non-musical record that I heard as a child and there is something about being slightly scared, and feeling of creepiness, that really stuck with me. I feel like it definitely blends in to my train of thought when creating.”
Rankin/Bass Productions - Assorted Christmas Specials
“This one is not an album, but the music Rankin / Bass Productions recorded for all their claymation Christmas cartoons. Their sound production was so wobbly and analog and I think it was my first experience with sound production, as a young kid. Their old claymation classics had a huge influence on me.”