Dutch-American singer-songwriter Kramies Windt began writing songs at the age of 14 after buying his first synth, acoustic guitar and four-track cassette recorder at an estate sale in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio. Even though he was never really exposed to any music other than old Dutch Christmas records his family had lying around when he was a kid, their haunting sound would shape the direction of his future songwriting.
Kramies started forming and playing in bands around the age of 16, and by the age of 19, the bands he formed became based around the songs he was writing. The bands took on many forms, playing the underground music scene from Ohio to Chicago. Come the late ’90s, Kramies developed his own sound, based around old-world imagery of cobblestone streets, old trains and castles, and romantic, poetic moments. Kramies and his band went on to open for Spiritualized, Grandaddy, Yo La Tengo, Calexico, Stereolab, Dirty Three and Red House Painters.
Come 2004, Kramies decided to focus on writing and recording in the studio, and began working with producer and engineer Todd Tobias (Guided By Voices, Robert Pollard) and guitarist David Paolucci. Working with Todd and David, Kramies released two albums to critical acclaim: Golden Like A New Thing (ACM, 2008) and Castle of Ghosts (ACM, 2010).
In 2010 Kramies began writing the songs for his first Hidden Shoal release, The European EP, in his coat closet in Colorado. The songs were demoed on four-track, painting a vivid sonic picture of the direction the release would take, drawing on the haunting old-world imagery he loved so much as a kid. The demos were sent to David Paolucci to start working on guitar parts in Ohio. Kramies then toured Ireland, playing really old pubs and small concert halls, which brought new ideas and layers to the songs. The European EP was recorded in June and July 2011 with Todd Tobias, with prominent, swirling guitar work from Dave Paolucci.