Erik Kramer
A House, Floating in the Middle of a Lake [CS; Anthropocene Recordings]

It seems another folk revival may be on hand, and I certainly am not opposed. But it doesn’t stem from the same traditions of Guthrie, Seeger, Ochs, Dylan, et al. Yet it’s still rich in true blue American soil. It’s birthed from the land we all inhabit, even if we all see that land as something different. In the case of Erik Kramer, the land is a lake and his is the house floating in the middle of it; perhaps as a moat to separate himself from a land he wants little to do with, or a movement that a writer lacking savvy would be quick to lump him in, but it’s happening. Erik Kramer combines the grooves of middle America storytelling with the discombobulating decay of our current society. A House, Floating in the Middle of the Lake may resemble a separation of ideals, but it also seems to symbolize the erosion of our land — both caused by our own hands or forceful done by others who benefit from tearing us apart (again). Kramer creates a tune so forlorn, and yet, so beautiful (“Face of God on the Forest Floor”) and then follows up its eco-spirituality with the destructive (“The Wind at Your Back”), a song that is a steady drone gale that dares the listener to stand up to its ecological force. But much like the resulting folk (r)evolution, the genre (as broad as it is) seems to be looking to echo destruction rather than to proactively speak against it, as if to give us the real sound of our fate rather than thoughts of cautious protest. Considering how hollow the words of many ring these days, I shall take stock in the sounds of Kramer. I will listen and hopefully the road I follow in doing so will lead me to a better spot; one where the land is untainted and preserved and worth showing to others so that we may rebuild (again).


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