Published Apr 20, 2018Layten Kramer, of Victoria, BC (via Canmore, AB) has created a Western-tinged EP, Glory, that finds the artist reflecting on the resilience of individuals in his life, working with the likes of the New Pornographers' Kathryn Calder and Peach Pyramid's Jen Sėvertson.
The EP opens with "The Void," a bright, yet mellow groove, which blooms into a synth-led chorus where Kramer is accompanied by Sėvertson's graceful backing vocals. "All the dreams that I believed were sure, they're now uncertain," he sings, before questioning, "Didn't anyone tell you? You should not fill up the void."
Mitchmatic's alto saxophone solo is warm, effortlessly joining the chorus melody as the track winds down. A distinctly Western guitar line opens "Long Gone," a downtempo yet steady lament, it's bridge filled with Calder's soft vocals. The track's drums buoy it so as not to sink, given the weighty, mental health-focused subject matter. Strings and finger-picked guitar combine with grand horns to soundtrack the longing of "Glory," while closer "Final Frontier" evokes Southwestern landscapes and speaks of a protagonist directly facing their mental state. Layten Kramer has developed a mature, sweeping sound on Glory, its steady pace and brooding tone deserving of repeated listens. (Oscar St. Records)