Kevin Krauter

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05/02/2019 - 05/02/2019

Kevin Krauter

Best known as one of several guitar players, songwriters, and vocalists in the Hoosier indie-rock band Hoops, Krauter has been making music all by his lonesome for much longer. He grew up in a family heavily involved in local musical theater, even appearing in three productions of Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He played in high school bands, but didn’t get serious about writing and recording until he enrolled at Ball State in Muncie, Indiana. His first efforts -- recorded in his dorm room -- weren’t intended for any kind of audience, but a friend asked him to record a few tracks for a class project. Eventually those sessions became 2015’s Magnolia EP, a short collection of gentle, gauzy songs that reveal his early obsession with one of his first musical heroes, Vashti Bunyan.
It was his first taste of the music business, and the experience left a huge impression. “I’d never put any music out under my name. I’d never put out a tape before. It all came together quickly.” Krauter began recording and releasing music prolifically, first with Hoops and then on his own. The Changes EP, released in late 2016, showcases his deft guitar playing, mixing soul-baring songwriting with bossa nova rhythms and intimately lo-fi production. It was supposed to be a low-key release, but Changes became a word-of-mouth hit that amassed a small but avid cult behind it. “I didn’t think it was going to make any huge waves for me, but a lot of people told me they were still listening to it a year or more later. They were living with it, and I thought that was cool.”
Those first two EPs were mostly acoustic, just Krauter, his guitar, and occasionally a brushed snare drum or a textural electric guitar. “I was cool with it for a while, but I wanted to make something that sounded a little more pop.” Recorded at Russian Recording in Bloomington, Indiana, Toss Up builds on the sonic worlds of his first releases, conveying a similar mood with a greater array of instruments and influences. Still, he worked with what he had around him. “I found this old two-stack organ at Goodwill and set it up on top of an old Yamaha teach-yourself keyboard that my mom had. I was playing those over and over.”

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