Veteran underground indie-folk singer/songwriter releases, ‘Ohio, I’ll be Fine‘, a world-weary, hauntingly beautiful new single.
Although born in Ohio, but based in Colorado, Dutch-American singer-songwriter, Kramies Windt, – better known just by his first name – has, over the years, made good use of his Dutch connections to establish as strong European presence, touring extensively and using extended stays in Europe to inspire his writing. Having been part of the US indie scene since the late 90s, Kramies, both solo and with his previous band, has opened for Spiritualized, Grandaddy, Yo La Tengo, Calexico, Stereolab, Dirty Three and Red House Painters. As a result, he’s made many friends and admirers who have been willing to support his work, with a wide and diverse range of collaborations and guest appearances on his previous releases. Listening to ‘Ohio I’ll be Fine’, it’s easy to hear the appeal of working with him.
‘Ohio, I’ll be Fine‘ taps into Kramies’ troubled past, with the lyrics unflinchingly relating his experience of confronting his personal demons, in particular, addiction. Starting with a simple but gorgeous strummed guitar and Kramies’ sweet, doleful voice. The song builds with delicately subdued and well-suited instrumentation until it reaches a soaring climax that has a distinctly cinematic feel. His collaborators this time are Jerry Becker of Train, who also did an impressive job on production duties, and Jim Bogios of Counting Crows. Clocking in at a concise three minutes, the track has a forlorn feel that runs through the whole recording. However, it doesn’t come anywhere close to descending into self-pity but, instead, gives a wry but still warm nod to the power of resilience.
The languid, partly-animated video features some very evocative wet, woodland landscapes, bathed in ‘magic hour’ light and augmented with strange, shadowy animated characters, and simple but very effective visual effects. Kramies appears at points, performing to camera with an engaging mix of sincerity and humour. As the song builds, the landscapes broaden out and the light levels jump. Perhaps the transitions between the various sequences could be more subtle, but they add to a slight feeling of unease that matches the tone of the song. Taken as a whole, the video is certainly effective.
Kramies has a self-titled EP out soon. If this track is anything to go by, it should be magnificent. Can’t wait!