Todd Lewis Kramer: Life, Love & Music

Hailey Nuthals, Highlighter Editor

Todd Lewis Kramer's upcoming album, "Fairground" contains many personal tracks.
Courtesy of Shervin Lainez
Todd Lewis Kramer’s upcoming album, “Fairground” contains many personal tracks.

Last week, WSN got the chance to speak with Brooklyn-based Americana folk singer Todd Lewis Kramer, whose debut solo album “Fairground” will drop this May. A native of the East Coast, Kramer’s music involves a range of introspective topics set to beautiful melodies. Kramer took the time to chat about his songwriting process, his upcoming album and what he likes to do to de-stress.

WSN: You’ve mentioned that “Anna” is your favorite song on the record. What is it about the song that makes you love it so much?

Todd Lewis Kramer: I think it’s a combination of things for that song in particular. First of all, it’s one of the oldest songs that I have that made it on to that record. There’s a couple of songs on the record that I wrote when I was about 21, and “Anna” is one of those. It’s a really personal song, but also just musically, I think it came out beautifully production-wise. They added layers to it that I had never really thought of before, and it really brought the song together. So it’s a combination of the meaning of the song to me and also how it sounds sonically — I think it’s a beautiful song… Yeah, it’s funny, because the song is called “Anna” but it’s not really about a relationship. It’s more about someone in my life who went through a hard time, so it’s a more metaphorical usage.

WSN: What do you think we gain by going through difficult times?

TLK: I guess the learning experiences. There’s those cliche things, like “you learn a lot more from losing than winning,” and I think that going through tough times in any capacity, whether it’s a relationship or any sort of trials and tribulations… you get past it, you can learn from it, and you can learn a little bit more about yourself, too. Luckily I’ve had an avenue where I can just kind of write the things that happen and use it to sort of share those thoughts with people. I think for me, it’s a way to be cathartic about it. I’m not necessarily the best at speaking to people about my emotions, but I don’t have a hard time writing about them, so that works for me.

WSN: Where’s your favorite spot in New York to go to de-stress for a while?

TLK: That’s a good one… I used to like to go out a lot and drown my stresses in a night on the town, but I’ve actually tried to experiment with different sorts of techniques, like I started doing bikram yoga and stuff like that. Anything to give myself a little time to disconnect, put my phone away. I’m just tinkering with stuff like that for now, just to decompress on my own for a bit… It’s just a funny thing. Bikram is one of the things that I’ve started doing that puts me at ease for an entire day at a time, which is nice. It’s super random, though. I haven’t even told many people that.

WSN: When you picture people listening to your album, what sort of scene do you imagine?

TLK: I think it can vary — anything from driving on open roads to dancing to crying. I think you could do any of those things. Maybe even driving on the road and pulling over to the side and dancing, and then getting back in the car and driving some more and crying while you’re driving. I want there to be sort of an open road feel to it, so that people can have their thoughts to themselves. For me, at least, a lot of the songs are thought provoking and nostalgic, so I guess something like that.

Todd Lewis Kramer’s debut album “Fairground” comes out on May 13. Kramer’s next show in New York is on May 14 at Rockwood Music Hall.

Email Hailey Nuthals at [email protected].