Layten Kramer is a singer-songwriter-guitarist from Alberta, Canada. He’s had a couple releases on his Bandcamp over the years — Through The Days and For The Sun — and now we’re here to stream his third, a revealing and honest four-track portrait of heartbreak called Glory.
Glory — out today via Oscar St. Records, the label run by Kathyrn Calder of the New Pornographers — leads with “The Void,” a sometimes genuine, sometimes sardonic commentary on Kramer’s character. “Here I go again/ Searching for somebody/ Like you to fill me up with things I don’t need/ But people think I do,” he starts, later insisting, not entirely convincingly, “I am oh, so happy alone.” It’s fair to admit that you may be a creature of habit and it’s also fair to feel, after disappointing experiences, that you’d rather be a lone ranger than feel effectively masochistic.
That sort of dichotomy manifests in the track’s video, which you can watch below, directed by film-duo William Wilkinson and OPD Brooks (Ft. Langley). Kramer breaks off from his group to sing in front of a handful of people varying in sincerity in an oppressively-warm karaoke venue.
We hear Kramer’s struggles with identity and intention in “Long Gone,” faith and finality in the penultimate title track, and, in Glory’s bookend, “Final Frontier,” fear of “numbing decay.” Whether the prescription he speaks of is literal or acts as a metaphor for the consequences of perpetual seclusion, Kramer wonders if it’s worth avoiding uncertainty if “you might slowly slip away in the depths of yourself.”
Through The Days showed Kramer’s Beirut-level affinity for horn harmonies. Synthesizers had more of a home in For The Sun. Where Glory lands is at a sonic middle ground. Kramer likes a good instrumental harmony (bless his heart because I do too) and through his past two releases he has found ways of folding a Beach House-feel within an acoustic, orchestral outline. Glory’s title, even with the lyrics in between, could be Kramer’s first step toward emotional and harmonious reclamation. I’m ready for the next.
Glory is out now via Oscar St. Records. Purchase it here.