Untitled Debutby Roger Young / 29.12.2009
Listening to Thomas Krane’s untitled debut is like waking up in the night on the couch with the TV flickering and seeing a mouse creep across the floor, if you dare move the moment might be chased away, so you keep quiet and let it happen. They make music that is mostly folk-like acoustic and harmonies with the occasional other lo-fi layer and a few electric guitar stabs. Musically Thomas Krane comes off as slight but far from inconsequential, on some levels like Devendra Banhart without the self-conscious quirk and on others similar to Illinois era Sufjan Stevens. They are confidant enough to be comfortable with lacing their simple and charmingly naïve delivery with the slightest hint of sonic menace.
The opening track “You’re On The Television” sums up their aesthetic nicely, fuzzy samples, quick strumming acoustic guitar and buzzy electric underneath depreciatingly self aware pop paced lyrics. Because of the simplicity of their delivery, most of the “Song From A Hospital’ series and tracks like “The First Noel” and “Dollface” are practically indistinguishable, strangely enough this works , the songs don’t demand direct engagement, but they never fade into the background, the occasional distorted stabs or drum breaks pull the listener out of the introspective haze. “Build Us A Tower” and “The Conversation Lost It’s Spark” are by far the best songs on the album combining all the elements that Thomas Krane play with, Daniel Hampton’s sweetly cracking voice, the almost urgent strumming, the high picking guitar, harmonies, reverb and bare lyrics build into a stark soundscape.
Thomas Krane’s album is most definitely a debut, but a confidant one. Their self-depreciating charm and sonic fuzz meets strum sound might edge dangerously close to twee at times but it is saved by the strength of its standout tracks ability to burrow into the subconscious. More than anything it’s a firm, honest statement of intent, unafraid to wear its heart on its slight post folk-esque sleeve.
Available from Look and Listen, selected Musica’s, Idols, and hruki.com in a special buy a t-shirt (pictured) get an album free package.
Check out Thomas Krane’s Facebook Page here.