Niklas Kramer, Still Parade’s one-man crooner, has made a few minor adjustments since he last left us with the Fields EP. No longer are we dealing with “Dream-Folk,” but instead some “psychedelic soft rock with a touch of krautrock, and a slight hint of cosmic american music,” as Kramer puts it in his own concrete terms. All the blood, sweat and tears of Kramer’s new work were captured with a tape machine and a laptop in Berlin, somewhere over the goddamn rainbow — though, Kramer doesn’t have to click his heels to make us feel at home with this one. The magic comes naturally.
After finishing ‘Walk in the Park’, which was the first song I wrote for Concrete Vision everything came together relatively quickly. There’s always a small thing that inspires me to come up with ideas. For ‘True Love,’ it was this guitar sound I run through a filter pedal, for Concrete Vision it was me playing over a drum loop for a very long time.
Concrete Vision’s weight in gold can be measured by its ability to lasso reservations and sift through residual feelings of self-doubt. For Niklas, the doubt was about being a musician, and struggling to reach a sonic peak.
After releasing my first EP I had all these doubts about being a musician and the music I made. There were a few tracks left from the EP session and the idea at first was to build the album around that. But it became clear to me that I had to find a fresh approach to make music again. Also being a musician brings all this instability, so you’re always hoping for something good to happen, but it’s not really in your hands and that’s what big parts on this album are about. Also trying to hunt this creative vision and who you want to be as an artist, and you never really get there is part of the general idea on this album.
The title-track makes peace with its self-reflective lyric, “it was never enough.” Letting go of things beyond one’s control is the name of the game here, and all it takes is a spoonful of sugar to wash it down. Speaking of which — you can stream “Concrete Vision,” above.