Indiana-based musician Kevin Krauter’s follows 2018’s ‘Toss Up’ with ‘Full Hand’ – a record that finds Kevin delving into new soundscapes as he opens up about his personal life and the happiness he feels now he is comfortable in his own skin.
Opening appropriately enough with the gently swaying guitars of ‘Intro’, it’s not long before Kevin is delivering words in a goosebump-inducing falsetto on ‘Opportunity’: ‘Don’t stop letting the rhythm get faster. Kevin repeats the words ‘shaking it off’ over genteel piano and Mew-style atmospherics. ‘Patience’ follows this with lilting vocals and acoustic strums that fall somewhere between the folk sound of Big Thief and jaunty melodies of Real Estate. It’s an ode to having fun, finding joy and how having patience can help you do this.
The shoegaze of ‘Surprise’ follows this and the layered guitars on this dream pop track are more reminiscent of Kevin’s debut. There’s a powerful poignancy as Kevin sings ‘turn and walk away from all the sadness’ amidst feedback and effects. ‘Kept’ has more smooth jazz stylings that are complemented by DIY synth effects and a playful tone: ‘Don’t you lose it. Don’t you lose it now’. Lead single ‘Pretty Boy’ is packed with potent power pop guitar hooks and intricate stylings as Kevin sings ‘Pretty Boy I wanna see you dance, dance away’.
You can’t help but think of Soft Cell when the album reaches ‘Piper’ – a synth-laden piece with stream-of-consciousness lyrics that are delivered with a sigh: ‘Spent the evening looking in the mirror and tucking my shirt back in’; ‘I think you’re running again’; ‘talking to myself but I’m not really listening’. The title track follows with a more psychedelic tilt and words describing Kevin’s frustration at being ‘tired of every evening waiting for my moment’. ‘Treasure’ has a DIY casiotone-style opening before veering into something that resembles the awkward danceability of Radiohead’s ‘Idioteque’ while the closing ‘How’ is bursting with Baths-style beats that soon make way for more poppier sensibilities.
Give Kevin Krauter a full hand… This album is something quite special.