Jim Kroft Press Pack – available to download here
- a person who lives alone, especially to devote himself to religion.
- someone motivated by desires for sensual pleasures
“The Hermit and the Hedonist” is an album of brutal honesty, self exploration and cultural commentary. It is the story of a man ignoring the musical fashions of the day and attempting to chronicle his own voice.
After seeing his second project collapse Jim Kroft found himself alone in Berlin. He felt not only the isolation of a man in exile, but also the sadness of a man whose mother had died as a teenager and had no relationship with his father.
With the sense that there was no past to return to, and no future in the collapsed music industry, he lived during this time a life of extremes – simultaneously monk and raver, hermit and hedonist.
Dealing with grief and sadness he embraced the excess, partying and epicurean lifestyle of modern Berlin. And he simultaneously experienced its opposite – the hangovers, longing and crushing isolation.
The songs for the new album emerged as he sought to make sense of this siamese lifestyle, and to forge a path to a new life. The songwriting process thus became a chronology of Kroft´s discoveries.
While writing opener “Memoirs from the Afterlife” Kroft realized that his role as a songwriter was to make sense of his own particular cultural predicament. The first lyric on the album “welcome to a different you” finds Kroft experiencing a sense of rebirth after a life time of love and loss, and realizing that “the world will give him what he needs”. The album begins with a sense of the songwriters intention to write himself out of his despair.
“The Jailer” continues this theme, and focuses on the strength and courage it takes to make great changes to your life. A song about defiance, it recognizes that often we must “forsake safety for epiphanies” if we are to fulfill our potential. It also deals with the courage and defiance a musician needs in an industry in turmoil. While making the album Kroft had the growing sense that the chances of making a living from music nowadays – even with a degree of success – are minimal. As a result the creation of the album is itself an act of faith.
In “Ulysses” we are alone with the songwriter during a night of insomnia. Kroft realized that the only way to get back to health was to have the courage to confront his past and lifestyle with brutal honesty. As a result in the lyrics there is no barrier between the mental space of the songwriter and the listener.
“Modern Monk” chronicles a time when the songwriter felt particularly divided and came close to madness. Looking out from a derelict flat overlooking “Ostbanhof Station” Kroft had the feeling that all human war and suffering came from these “wars within the skull”. At the last he feels he must “accept the whole world into his arms” if he is to find a route from the chaos.
During the writing Kroft felt that his experience was changing from something very intimate to something more universal and reflective of the wider human narrative. Reacting to the riots in London, a Europe on the edge of the economic precipice, and a world in disarray, Kroft formed the belief that society will only keep evolving with a greater understanding of itself and between its peoples.
As a result “Canary in the Coalmine” explores a world where we project a perfected “cyber version” of ourselves in place of our own true identity. “Waiting for a Healin” on the other hand is about recognizing that society at large is in need of healing, and that it is only own selves who can aid this process.
There is a period in an artist´s life when he asks himself whether he has the courage to face the great questions, and to shape his own response to them. “The Hermit and the Hedonist” is Jim Kroft´s attempt to do so.
Memoirs From The Afterlife
Waiting For A Healin