From the outset, the deftly plucked banjo strings and soothing vocals on Lullaby School point to a tasteful array of Americana influences-- Bright Eyes, Sufjan Stevens and Jeff Buckley to recall
a few. However, Kris manages to make this collection distinctly his own. With tracks like "Truffles", "Further Down" and "Enchant Me" he moves us from moods that haunt, then embolden, then lament with somber fragility.
For Lullaby School, Kris employs a bevy of rarified instrumentation (e.g. marxophone, sitar and melodica) without allowing the unique layering and complex arrangements to detract from what are
delicately, intimate songs. Gruen's essential offerings lie in his control of language and the vocal prowess with which he delivers it. Songs like the hypnotic and magical tale "For the Finding"
illustrate his range, equally at ease singing falsetto or a coarse baritone.