In music, there’s often a tendency to focus on personal pain. It’s a useful shorthand for understanding how an artist got to where they are now, but sometimes that heaviness doesn’t leave enough room for nuance and change. In his solo work, the Indiana musician Kevin Krauter doesn’t flinch when staring down his past, but he doesn’t get too obsessed with the dark stuff either.
In 2018, Krauter released Toss Up, a quiet album that was built on intricate guitar riffs that looped back on themselves to create a feeling of sunlit calm. Krauter’s sophomore follow up, Full Hand, dives further into the world he’s created — one where songs are evocative of late afternoon light, or dust settling on a creaky floorboard, but with lyrics that probe Krauter’s personal life, grappling with sexuality and religion, while exploring what it means to grow up, grow more critical, and, in turn, more self-confident.
Full Hand is out now via Bayonet Records.
(Photo Credit: Hana Mendel)
Three Great Things is our series in which artists tell us about three things they absolutely love. In this installment, the Indiana songwriter Kevin Krauter tells us about dancing, aperitifs, and his rediscovered love of drumming.
— Annie Fell, Talkhouse Senior Editor
My New Year’s resolution this year was to start dancing as a workout. I’ve been getting really into practicing my two-step shuffle. Listening to UK garage, drum and bass music and dancing to that is really fun. It’s basically like jogging in place. Normally I’ll just stand on my back porch with my headphones in. Sometimes I’ll dance with friends, but normally it’s just me.
I do like to go out and dance though. A lot of my friends DJ around Indianapolis and throw cool dance events all the time. It’s a fun little scene that’s happening.
2. Teas and apertifs
I’ve been really into tea lately — or trying to get into it. Specifically, herbal ginger tea, because it makes my tummy feel really good. My partner Demi and I always have tummy aches and it’s been really saving my life lately. I’m really into [Celestial Seasonings’] Bengal Spice — that one has ginger and cardamom and clove. I love it, especially after dinner.
For that matter, I’ve been getting into apertifs in general, like fernet and Underberg. I used to really hate the taste of licorice my whole entire life, but those types of drinks really make my tummy feel good, so when I taste the bitter taste I’m like, This is good for me. I’ve retrained my brain to like it.
Lately, I’ve been really into playing drums. I’ve been playing drums my whole life, but there was a long time where I wasn’t playing drums in any bands or anything. Just last year, I started playing drums with some friends I went to college with in this band called Kill Gulls. I met them at Ball State, and they moved out to Indy after school and I started playing drums with them, which was really fun because it’s sort of emo-sounding, alt-rock drumming, like Duster a bit. It’s exactly what I wanna play on drums, so every riff that my homies in the band write is immediately what I’m trying to play. It’s really fun. I’ve been able to get my chops back after not practicing for years; now I’m really into it again.
As told to Annie Fell.
(Photo Credit: Hana Mendel)