Ben Kramer is a young singer-songwriter from Chicago trying to make a name for himself. In a crowded field of singer-songwriters and rootsy artists it isn't always easy to find that name recognition and spread out your art to new followers. Kramer's first attempt is a 4-song EP called "Let Go".
Kramer lists Tom Odell, Bear's Den and The Head and the Heart as influences (among other artists) and at times you will notice a similar approach in his work. Melodically rich and a focus on the delivery of the songs. On the opening track Let Go Kramer's vocals are incisive and his tone is very pleasant to listen to. The body of the song could be a bit more expressive but you can feel a little tension in the song which is why it holds up.
I'd Never Say has a typical folk-rock intro and carries on nicely which fits Kramer's vocal style to a tee. The song is a little hesitant but promising in its entirety. Mixing and production are a little spotty on this EP but as a beginning artist it's understanding he doesn't have the budget yet. The song however shows a songwriting talent that, if it continues to develop, could be very promising. The use of a subtle beat and a solid melodic vocal arrangement makes for a song that deserves recognition. The Gates has a more subdued character and a darker mood. In the songwriting department it gets high marks again but compared to the previous songs it doesn't match Kramer's vocal style as much. I applaud him for going in a different direction when it comes to the color of the song because it gives the EP a little contrast but in the aspect of delivery, this song stands out the least.
Finally, we hear Who Will I Be? which is a breezier track and I can really hear the Bear's Den influences. The vocal delivery, the visual aspects of the song, the slow but certain build up. Very nicely done. If we don't think about the mixing and producing of the record too much, we can really hear that Ben Kramer has a talent that, in time, could very well bring him out of the shadows into the limelight. His brand of music is popular right now and he has the talent, all it needs is a little more nurturing and experience. "Let Go" is a promising first step and it'll be exciting to see how Kramer develops as an aspiring and ambitious artist.