written by Maria Arroyo
Indiana based singer/songwriter, Kevin Krauter, celebrates the release of his full-length album, Full Hand, out now. So many hard topics and experiences are explored throughout the music and the way that he wears his entire life in his sleeve is something that really speaks volumes to me.
I wish I could put into words how to best tell the story of this album, but I’ll just let you folks find out from the source. Across these next 12 tracks, Krauter says “a lot of the lyrics touch on how I was raised religiously, touch on me understanding my sexuality more and more in recent years… just growing up and becoming more confident in myself…that process of looking inward and taking stock of myself.” He makes another incredible point in saying that this music “explores anxieties I deal with and worries that I have. Areas in which I feel inadequate or unfulfilled… Life goes on.”
He explains that the “backbone” of this full-length album is acceptance. Krauter says that “it’s an easy fallback to be self-deprecating, but it was a challenge to myself to see how I could flip it the other way but also be realistic about it. I don’t want to make some sugary, feelgood, all payoff thing because that’s not what my life is like.”
Starting the album is an instrumental piece (AKA Intro), which leads into the next song, “Opportunity,” that ties together a very washy and ambient feel with a psychedelic twist to it. Although there are a whole bunch of different elements that Krauter uses to bring this song to life, it does not feel overworked or feel like parts are overshadowing one another. The whispy and washy vocals create a more vulnerable sound, which I always appreciate.
“Patience” brings some incredibly written harmonies to life, while the next song, “Surprise,” is able to really pay homage to its title. There was a buildup in both the instrumentation and the vocals so that way it felt like the song has an end goal, while still sounding new and exciting. This song became a favorite from the album, partly due to its infectiously catchy melody.
“Kept” is the song in which we get a stronger sense of his rhythmic ideas and a shift in the influences that shape this album, while the first few songs have strong ties to a more trippy and psychedelic inspiration, this song felt more R&B inspired, along with some other added musical layers to keep his sound interesting.
The most interesting song from the album has to be “Intermission.” His use of different panning techniques in the mixing of the song was done so well. He really filled all of the sonic space he had for this song with sound, while still evoking this very intimate feel and setting that I felt the album didn’t have before.
The next few songs continue this fun and creative vibe that just makes you want to keep listening. There is more appeal in his song “Pretty Boy” because it felt more relatable to people, while still telling his individual story. “Full Hand” and “Treasure” introduce another side of his musical abilities that we had not yet seen in the earlier songs. There are moments of fantasy and fun, while still keeping a strong rhythm throughout the song. These two songs are another example of how he is able to add many different elements to his songs without them feeling overworked or congested.
Closing out his rollercoaster of an album is his song “How.” This was just a lot of fun to listen to, and I was humming the melody at the end of the album. This became such a favorite for me because it shows an important side of himself. It shows that it’s okay to let go, and that life does go on.
Kevin Krauter really brought some tough topics to the surface, which is even harder when it’s YOUR baggage that you’re sharing. He did a magnificent job of pulling different elements of different genres from funk and psychedelic rock, to soul and R&B, and even his softer and more intimate singer/songwriter side. He created a very well rounded and diverse album that I hope propels his music career in the best of ways.