A stirring split single full of intimacy and light, Kramies’ “Between the Moon” and Foxtails Brigade’s “On the Other Side” highlight vulnerability and the emotional depths of transition and life change.
“On The Other Side” – Foxtails Brigade // “Between the Moon” – Kramies
My life seems to be this strange optimistically creative journey, and I never know what’s going to help me climb over mountains, but that’s what it seems I’m here to do.
What better show of unity is there in music, than when two artists who have never met in person join forces? Although Colorado singer/songwriter Kramies and Northern California band Foxtails Brigade have yet to meet, the pair have come together to release a stirring split single full of intimacy and light.
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Kramies’ “Between the Moon” and Foxtails Brigade’s “On the Other Side,” two songs that highlight vulnerability and the emotional depths of transition and life change. Both tracks are relatively “indie folk” in nature, and while Kramies’ song is embellished by gorgeous string accompaniment and its counterpart is a stripped-down acoustic affair, both instances highlight the humanity underneath.
“To be honest 2019 was hard for me, and I’m not sure what other artists might go through but I would assume it’s probably a similar experience,” Kramies tells Atwood Magazine. The Dutch-American artist was first featured on our site in 2017 for his song “I Wish I Missed You,” and again in 2018 for his EP Of All The Places Been & Everything The End, described at the time as “a stirring journey of nostalgia and sorrow, self-discovery and renewal.” In unusual fashion, “Between the Moon” is Kramies’ first (and only) release of the entire year – and there’s a reason for that.
He explains, “I’d say for the past 7 years all the way through the end of 2018, I was obsessively creative and driven with writing and recording. The good and the bad, it didn’t matter as long as I was creating and releasing music. Everything seemed to flow very easily and I felt connected to art and the stories I was creating. I received way more acknowledgment for my music and albums than I could’ve imagined and it just kept rolling forward, which has been really amazing. Then, at some point early this year, 2019, I looked back at all of it and felt a bit lost. It wasn’t filling me creatively and I had my first real experience with writer’s block, so I decided to take a few months off and refocus, live and build back up. Three months turned into five and before I knew it, I was halfway into 2019. I’ve always believed you can try to make plans, but sometimes the universe will step in and change those plans in a heartbeat. So, I kept writing, but what was coming through me was different, more honest and less abstract. I wasn’t used to this, but I accepted it slowly and kept writing with my focus on 2020. Then, one of those moments happened where I could kind of see over the stone wall I built around myself. As I was scrolling through social media, I stopped on a video of a song. It enchanted me, which really hasn’t happened since I first discovered Joanna Newsom a few years ago.”
Kramies continues, “The video was of Laura Weinbach from the band Foxtails Brigade. It was a very simple video of her sitting on a deck in what appeared to be a backyard somewhere – the music was beautiful. The lyrics were captivating. [That] Foxtails Brigade song triggered some sort of small spark, and I felt a creative connection just by hearing their music. I started writing a song, in my style but in a sort of non-direct response to that influence. That’s why for me it’s more of a deeper artistic reason I wanted these songs released together. Not so much for the publicity, but because my life seems to be this strange optimistically creative journey, and I never know what’s going to help me climb over mountains, but that’s what it seems I’m here to do, be creative like a mad scientist at times and climb over mountains. I love Foxtails Brigade’s song “On the Other Side” – [it’s] probably the best song of 2019, for me. I’m glad we agreed to this split single. You never know what’s going to propel you forward into new chapters.”
For Kramies, discovering Foxtails Brigade’s music was itself an inspiration for moving forward and finding his own new plateau. You never know who, or what, will impact you; as long as we keep ourselves open to new experiences and ideas, every second offers another opportunity to be shaken awake. “Between the Moon” is a breathtaking drop of golden poetry that finds the artist processing intimate change – perhaps a fractured partnership; perhaps the way two souls ebb together and flow apart, at times unified and at times distanced:
that was the moment I turned the corner and out of view
the first time for last times packing our travels made for two
it was a long long road that led us to nowhere
when the king and the queens and the queens
well they really did care
they really did care
just when the ceiling it seemed to
come down you came rushing in
that was our story laughing before we’d ever begin
between the moon and the dusk
and the stars you became my dancer
but now when you call me back
I can hardly even answer
it was a long long road
that led us to somewhere
Just as this single marks the culmination of Kramies’ period of self-renewal, this single also marks a significant return for Foxtails Brigade. The Laura Weinbach-led five piece, rounded out by Anton Patzner, Alex Weston, Josh Pollock, and Dominic Mercurio, last released their self-titled third album in 2016; aside from touring both the United States and Europe, they’ve been relatively quiet on the musical front until now. While “On the Other Side” is not explicitly stated as coming from a new album, the band do have a fourth record in the works and are expected to be releasing something next year.
Whereas Foxtails Brigade’s self-titled record marked an expansive, experimental musical transformation away from their signature chamber-folk and folk-pop sound, “On the Other Side” feels like a sweet return. Lilting and immersive, the track sweeps listeners into its lush, mesmerizing guitar-driven melody; meanwhile, Weinbach’s haunting vocals dance around the air with reflection on emotional distance and strain:
strip it down to a single sad sound
ringin out on an empty ground.
Is it over
when did it end
will you go now
can I still call you my friend?
all it was alway ever about
keep it real to keep up the crowd.
it was bound to end
will you go first
can I still call you my friend
“I wrote this song when I had a bit of a falling out with a friend,” Laura Weinbach of Foxtails Brigade explains. “A lot of things in my life and band at the time seemed to be changing and moving away. This song is a little quieter than what has become usual for Foxtails Brigade, but it’s just a product of how I was feeling. Kramies found me on YouTube playing this song live on my parents’ deck and hit me up out of the blue. We still have never met in person but we think he’s really cool and that his music is good, so we’re doing this split.”
Both Foxtails Brigade and Kramies succeed in creating intimate, majestic, and hauntingly beautiful worlds full of emotion. What more can we say about these two songs? Stream them exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and feel the cool weight of the winter season as it’s lifted off your bones.
“On The Other Side” – Foxtails Brigade // “Between the Moon” – Kramies
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artwork © Laura Weinbach Foxtails Brigade ? © Foxtails Brigade Kramies ? © Jerome Servette
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