Robert Kretzschmar’s debut album ‘Homecoming’ is intimate, tender, and utterly unassuming: A gentle giant of enchanting, melancholic alt-folk sound that stirs the ears and soul.
Stream: ‘Homecoming’ – Robert Kretzschmar
There’s an authenticity about Robert Kretzschmar’s debut album that speaks to the raw humanity at its core.
A mix of observations and reflections, inner reckonings and rhetorical questions posed at oneself and the world at large, Homecoming is intimate, tender, and utterly unassuming: A gentle giant of enchanting, melancholic alt-folk sound that stirs the ears and soul. Long a member of other bands and ensembles, Kretzschmar’s – a Berlin-based singer/songwriter with a heart of gold – emerges with a soft, seductive force that compels us to put down whatever it is we’re otherwise doing – to listen in, and listen close.
I went home to see my friends
Back to the town
Back to my old cat hair phobia
And I wasn′t sure if there would be
any cats left to eat the grass
Otherwise I would have to cut the lawn
Clean the barn and unleash the yarn
I went home and I had to realize
Things cannot be tidied up in the aftermath
Decisions were made without you, and it’s not always about you
But if you take a step towards this you will gain the kindness
Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering Homecoming, Robert Kretzschmar’s enchanting, hypnotizing debut album (out October 13, 2023 via Einfach Jason / Wagram Stories). Not only is this a true “homecoming” for the German multi-instrumentalist, but it’s also a long-awaited comeuppance. Nicknamed “Berlin’s favourite drummer,” Kretzschmar was formerly one-half of German indie pop duo It’s A Musical (with Ella Blixt), as well as the drummer for a plethora of artists including Anna Erhard, Kat Frankie, Masha Qrella, Das Paradies and Albertine Sarges (among others).
Homecoming is his first solo outing behind the mic, and one that formally introduces a burgeoning, beautiful new folk artistry to the world.
“The album has been a heart’s desire for a long time,” Kretzschmar’s tells Atwood Magazine. “I played drums in so many bands at the same time and made theater music. During the pandemic, I was banned from concerts and therefore had a lot more time for my own ideas. Then in 2022 I recorded the album within a year. I already had a collection of lyrics. I wanted to capture these memories and emotions in a playful visual language. And I already had the soundtrack in mind. I wanted to leave a lot of air in the music. And only equip the songs with what they need. I didn’t orient myself at all on my immediate musical environment and gave birth to a real Berlin beauty.”
“The album is 100 percent me,” he asserts. “I wrote, recorded and produced everything myself. My musical influences resonate in every song and everything has a certain basic melancholy, warmth and relaxation.”
The name Homecoming, he says, speaks not only to the song of the same name, but also to an aching sense of return that comes from deep within.
“The album title is a return in different ways: Processing and a fresh start after the pandemic. Back to my songwriting skills. I was able to find myself with these songs and took a new place in a changed environment. The song ‘Homecoming’ is a journey home, a return to one’s roots, but not without consequences. It is a song about growing up, growing out, moving away, growing.”
Yet “Homecoming” is just one of this album’s ten beautiful track. From the 80-second opener “I Wish” – a short, bittersweet, and instantly memorable moment of fragility and nostalgia – to moody, moving standouts like “Teenagers” and “Apartment,” all the way through to the groovy, entrancing final moments “Believe” and “Techno,” Kretzschmar ensures a delightful – if not moody – journey for all.
“I especially like the vibe and flow of ‘Let It Be,'” he says on the topic of favorites. “It is probably the light-heartedness after a successful liberation. Another highlight is ‘Techno,’ a clear no to “standing in line” in Berlin’s nightlife.”
As for his lyrics? “I like to be both protagonist and observer,” he adds. “Laconicity and the love for individual words mix in my lyrics. It usually leads to a humorous, melancholic introspection. For example, ‘Do Me a Favour’ is a heartbreaking report of a relationship where the unspoken desire for an ending is palpable. It delves deep into the complexities of a slow breakup, painting a vivid picture of an emotional roller coaster. For example ‘You can swim, but you can’t swim like a dolphin’ describes the self-overestimation of your opposite.”
Ultimately, Homecoming brings something warm – if not nostalgic and laced in a layer of subdued, brooding folk – for all to embrace.
Kretzschmar’s warm melancholia isn’t dour; it’s rejuvenating.
“I hope [listeners] take the time to explore the album’s very own intimacy and pace,” he shares. “I’m looking forward to trying out the songs live at the first concerts. I also hope to play in the US. Feel free to invite me!” he winks. “I’m already in the mood for a second album and won’t wait that long with new songs.”
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside Robert Kretzschmar’s Homecoming with Atwood Magazine as he goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of his debut album!
Stream: ‘Homecoming’ – Robert Kretzschmar
:: Inside Homecoming ::
In 1 minute and 20 seconds, I sum up the pain of a relationship ending. Very light and almost cheerful the song acts as if it has always been there and yet is aware of the present in every second.
A journey home, a return to one’s roots, but not without consequences. “Homecoming” is about growing up, growing out, moving away, growing.
Do Me A Favour
This one is a heartbreaking report of a relationship where the unspoken desire for an ending is palpable. The standing synth pads and melodic lines are both hypnotic and haunting, adding to the overall sense of restlessness and desire for change. “Sometimes we hold on to something even though we know it’s time to let go.“
Teenagers are just the worst. Whenever I talk to them, I don’t get a word… A bitter adult cannot get over his own incompetence and regression. Teenagers are great!
The song is a deep dive into a passionate encounter that takes place behind closed doors. With “Apartment” I explored the greatness of love in the confines of a flat.
Risk of Falling
It is a love song. Without regret without ifs and buts. A thank-you to a wonderful person who is still close to me.
Let It Be
To realize that a person is not good for you and yet not be able to get away from it. That sometimes takes several attempts. But then comes the lightness that you can hear in this song.
This is an ode to a place on the south coast of England. I found some very great people there.
It is a political song. About the intrusion of politics into everyday conversations, one’s own feeling about the world and about the exasperation one can feel in the whirl of news punchlines, frivolous blame and the painful failure of a search for a bit of untouched nature.
A clear no to “standing in line” in Berlin’s nightlife. And no one manages to persuade me.
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© Noel Richter
:: Stream Robert Kretzschmar ::