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The art of confidence


Courtney Krause is one of the most delightfully sweet, unassuming people you will ever meet. The Iowa native moved to Des Moines in 2011 but has been writing music almost her entire life.

“I’ve been writing since I was 6,” she said. “My mom has my first song on tape. I was sad about the kids making fun of me for not knowing what eight times eight was in kindergarten. So I went home and wrote a song called “Mean Bus.” It’s comparable to (“Friends” character) Phoebe Buffay’s “Smelly Cat” in terms of artistic quality, but it was pretty catchy for a 6-year-old.”

Courtney Krause's CD release show is at Gas Lamp on Friday, Nov. 7, at 9 p.m.

Courtney Krause’s CD release show is at Gas Lamp on Friday, Nov. 6, at 9 p.m.

Her writing continued to improve and grow as she did, but it would be 15 years before she would play her first live show, at El Bait Shop shortly after moving to the city. Now, nearly five years later, she finds herself on the cusp of releasing her first CD this week at Gas Lamp.

“The album has been a three-year battle,” she said. “I had a lot of songs to pick from. We also recorded two songs that were just freshly written. So I looked at it and thought, ‘Wow, I really have seven years worth of songs in one place.’ ”

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“The songs all take place within a thought,” she continued. “It’s that moment between conversations. The narrative is really about a relationship. The first songs are where everything is happy and new, and it moves forward to the end where you’re no longer together. It almost seemed like the album really put itself together.”

From that first song about mean kids on the bus, Krause has always used her music as an outlet for frustrations and self-reflection. Her songs are an outlet for her mind, and one can chart her growth as a person — like counting rings on a tree — simply by tracing the timeline of her music.

“(The album) has changed me in that I can be more in tune with the moment,” she explained. “It’s created a bravery in me that wasn’t there before. I think that comes from all the time we’ve put into the album and all the patience we’ve had with it. It really does all lead up to the CD release. Now, I don’t think I’ve ever felt more confident about anything.”

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