10 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tim Showalter has titled this 2014 album HEAL—all in capital letters—and it shows a hard rock approach that suggests something closer to Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy than any type of meditative or introspective healing. Working with producer John Congleton, engineer/synth player Ben Vehorn, and drummer Steve Clements, Showalter unleashes some serious ’70s/‘80s/‘90s–styled hard rock, far from the folk-rooted Americana of his previous work. “Goshen ’97” brings us back to his teenage years in Goshen, Ind., where he first imagined music as an escape. J Mascis adds a guitar solo that mirrors Showalter’s battling emotions from the time. The incredible seven-and-a-half-minute “JM” is a tribute not to Mascis but to the late Jason Molina, whose music (as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., and under his own name) greatly influenced Showalter’s intensely personal style. “Woke Up to the Light” finally slows things for a Mark Kozelek–like confessional. But little here settles for anything sedate. This is a big rock album with big beats and anthem-like songs that never teeter over into clinical bombast but remain infused with blood on the tracks.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Tim Showalter has titled this 2014 album HEAL—all in capital letters—and it shows a hard rock approach that suggests something closer to Arthur Janov’s primal scream therapy than any type of meditative or introspective healing. Working with producer John Congleton, engineer/synth player Ben Vehorn, and drummer Steve Clements, Showalter unleashes some serious ’70s/‘80s/‘90s–styled hard rock, far from the folk-rooted Americana of his previous work. “Goshen ’97” brings us back to his teenage years in Goshen, Ind., where he first imagined music as an escape. J Mascis adds a guitar solo that mirrors Showalter’s battling emotions from the time. The incredible seven-and-a-half-minute “JM” is a tribute not to Mascis but to the late Jason Molina, whose music (as Songs: Ohia, Magnolia Electric Co., and under his own name) greatly influenced Showalter’s intensely personal style. “Woke Up to the Light” finally slows things for a Mark Kozelek–like confessional. But little here settles for anything sedate. This is a big rock album with big beats and anthem-like songs that never teeter over into clinical bombast but remain infused with blood on the tracks.

TITLE TIME
3:00
4:05
4:28
3:21
4:08
7:23
3:34
5:25
3:04
4:07

About Strand of Oaks

The project of Goshen, Indiana-based singer/songwriter Tim Showalter, Strand of Oaks specializes in bold and anthemic indie Americana that draws from classic rock and folk, skillfully blending traditional singer/songwriter catharsis with stadium-ready melodies in the vein of artists like War on Drugs and My Morning Jacket. Showalter, who began writing and performing in 2003, issued his first collection of songs under the moniker, Leave Ruin, in 2009 via the Pennsylvania-based indie label La Société Expéditionnaire. Strand of Oaks' sophomore outing, the appropriately titled Heal, arrived in 2014 via Dead Oceans Records after a period of turmoil and self-reflection. Returning from a hectic and often hedonistic tour, Showalter reentered the studio to record his follow-up to Heal. Again using his own life experiences as inspiration, the album would meld the sound of Alan McGee's Creation Records' output with dub and classic rock influences. The resulting Hard Love, which was produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Speedy Ortiz, Dirty Projectors), appeared at the beginning of 2017. ~ James Christopher Monger

  • ORIGIN
    Goshen, IN

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