Strand of Oaks

From the first bars of HEAL, the exhilarating melodic stomp of 'Goshen '97' puts you right into Tim Showalter's fervent teenage mindset. We find him in his family's basement den in Goshen, IN, feeling alienated but even at 15 years old, believing in the alchemy and power of music to heal your troubles. "The record is called HEAL, but it's not a soft, gentle healing, it's like scream therapy, a command, because I ripped out my subconscious, looked through it, and saw the worst parts. And that's how I got better." HEAL embodies that feeling of catharsis and rebirth, desperation and euphoria, confusion and clarity. It is deeply personal and unwittingly anthemic. Showalter was on tour, walking home on a mild autumn night in Malmo, Sweden, when he first felt the weight of the personal crisis that would ignite him to write HEAL. "It was a culmination of pressure," Showalter recalls. "My marriage was suffering, I'd released a record I was disappointed in, I didn't like how I looked or acted...so I'd gone on tour, I was gone about two years! I didn't take time to think about failure, but I knew I was going deeper and deeper...I was thinking, I have this life, but it's not my life, I haven't done it right..." When Showalter returned, he wrote 30 songs in three weeks, a process that proved difficult, but cathartic and at times invigorating. Previous Strand Of Oaks records were more skeletal, raw examples of folk-rooted Americana with occasional rock and electronic currents, that have now come to the fore. HEAL is a bold new beginning, with a thrilling full-tilt sound that draws on Showalter's love of '70s, '80s and '90s rock and pop, with the singer and guitarist playing the intense valedictory confessor. Crucial to HEAL's sound was the man who Showalter chose to mix the record, the stellar alt-rock icon John Congleton. Showalter also re-connected with Ben Vehorn, synth expert and studio engineer extraordinaire, and drummer Steve Clements, who provides HEAL's thunderous, sinewy drive. Songs such as 'Shut In', 'Plymouth' and 'Woke Up To The Light' have a classic construction and mood, recalling '70s power-pop/ballads and the yearning ache of Big Star's late, great Chris Bell. Many of the songs on HEAL reveal an electronic undercarriage and towering drums that push the album's wired dynamic to its stretching point, especially on 'For Me', which expertly bridges the album's twin decades of influences. And if 'Goshen '97' recalls the molten energy of Dinosaur Jr, that actually is J Mascis on lead guitar. Despite the initials, the album's smouldering 7-minute epic 'JM' is not a Mascis tribute, but to the late Jason Molina, about having his music as comfort no matter how bad things get. Which brings us to another crisis, this time much more serious and immediate. HEAL was scheduled for mixing on Dec. 26, 2013. Driving on the freeway Christmas Day, Showalter and his wife were involved in a car accident with a semi-truck, and were fortunate to walk away with their lives. Showalter suffered a, "pretty severe," head trauma, "which affected me much more than I realized at the time." Fearing delays, Showalter didn't let Congelton know about it, so the mixing session went ahead. "Being on the verge of death, and my thoughts being so closely tied to that, changed the album's direction," Showalter claims. "Together, we pushed it toward a much more cathartic sound that forces the listener to where I was at that exact moment, somewhere between almost dying and being absolutely fearless." HEAL is not just a saviour for its creator, but for anyone who needs reminding of music's ability to heal, or just thrill. Showalter is taking out a full band to play, and finally, the kid who wanted to be a rock star at 15 might get his chance. Finally, he and Strand Of Oaks have much to celebrate.

WATCH // Strand of Oaks Shares New “Goshen ’97″ Video Dir. By Rick Alverson, New Album ‘HEAL’ Out June 24th

Strand of Oaks shared the first single “Goshen ’97″ from upcoming album HEAL at the beginning of the month with praise from Stereogum calling it a “rocket-fueled nostalgia trip” and Pitchfork writing the song was “raw and reckless”. Today THE FADER premiered a new video for the track by director Rick Alverson [director of The Comedy] which puts Tim Showalter of Strand of Oaks in the main role. Watch the new video above, on THE FADER‘s website, or on our YouTube channel here.

On the video and director Alverson, Tim writes:

“It had been a dream of mine to work with Rick Alverson…[he] is a master of blending tragedy, humor, and catharsis, and that’s exactly what the song is about. It doesn’t celebrate the huge victories in life or mourn the heaviest memories. It’s about the moments between the ups and downs, where I believe we spend most of our lives. The days that aren’t shitty or particularly great, when you realize you’re one day farther from being young and you’re only getting older. Sometimes things so simple can be the most tragic.”

See Tim with a full band celebrating the new album’s release on June 26th at the Mercury Lounge in NYC. Get tickets here.

Pre-order the new album HEAL via iTunes, Amazon, SC Distribution, and your local record store.

ALBUM ANNOUNCE // Strand of Oaks New Album ‘HEAL’ Out June 24th, Stream “Goshen ’97″ Now

Today we are immensely grateful to welcome Strand of Oaks aka Tim Showalter to the ever-expanding Dead Oceans family. We’ve followed Tim closely and then were blown away by his live show when he toured with DOC artists Tallest Man On Earth and Matthew Houck aka Phosphorescent and also Damien Jurado from our sister label Secretly Canadian in the last two years. Now, we’re excited to announce Tim’s new record HEAL will be out on Dead Oceans June 24th.

On previous Strand of Oaks albums Tim displayed his knack for moving and dark folk and now on HEAL we see growth and change into an immersive sound with loud, punching guitar riffs and synth-heavy hooks akin to his recent touring show. Showalter says “I’m inspired by bands that go the distance, to a dangerous place…there’s an uncertainty to ‘HEAL’ that makes me nervous and excited at the same time. It’s sad, but it sounds like a celebration, like I’m crying and laughing and sticking both middle fingers in the air all at the same time.”

Preview the new album with the track “Goshen ’97″ above, an ode to his hometown of Goshen, Indiana and first finding music in his parent’s basement. Listen to the track, which premiered yesterday on World Cafe, on our YouTube / Soundcloud and it features Tim dueling guitars with rock god J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr..

Pre-order the new album via iTunes, Amazon, SC Distribution, and your local record store.

Stay tuned for more details and tour dates to be announced. Click read more for artwork and tracklisting.
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The Tale of The Tallest Man On Earth and a Moog Synthesizer, New European Dates Announced for Winter

The Tallest Man On Earth and synthesizers? You betcha. Kristian recently stopped by Asheville’s Moog Music factory for a new session. Supplied with an array of Moog equipment, Kristian and tourmates Strand of Oaks take on “There’s No Leaving Now” in a completely new way. Watch above.

The fun doesn’t stop with the session. You wanted more tour dates and now you’re going to get them. Kristian has added a handful of European shows to his tour. You’ll find the full list below.

 
TOUR DATES:
11/21/13 Copenhagen, DenmarkVega
11/22/13 Aarhus, DenmarkVoxhall
11/23/13 Weissenhaeuser Strand, GermanyRolling Stone Weekender
11/25/13 Tilburg, NetherlandsO13
11/26/13 Den Haag, NetherlandsPaard van Troje
11/27/13 Fribourg, SwitzerlandFri-Son
11/29/13 Barcelona, SpainFri-Son
11/30/13 Donostia-San Sebastian, SpainKursaal
12/01/13 Madrid, SpainTeatro Fernando Fernan Gomez
12/04/13 Segrate (Milano), ItalyCicolo Magnolia
12/05/13 Vienna, AustriaStadthalle

For a full list of tour dates, head HERE.

TOUR ALERT // The Tallest Man On Earth Announces US Summer Dates

The Tallest Man On Earth has set out to make your summer. How so? By going on a US tour of course. New dates include stops at Sasquatch and Bonnaroo! Strand of Oaks will open for TTMOE on all shows. You can check out the full tour schedule and ticket links below.

Summer too far away? Watch the new, four-part documentary that gives an intimate look into the lives of Kristian and his wife Amanda. The fourth episode features the duo performing Damien Jurado’s “Working Titles.”

 

TOUR DATES:
05/26/13: George, WA – Sasquatch Music Festival
05/27/13: Wenatchee, WA- Performing Arts Center ^
05/28/13: Missoula, MT- Wilma Theatre ^
05/29/13: Boise, ID- Knitting Factory ^
05/31/13: Salt Lake City, UT- The Depot ^
06/01/13: Denver, CO- Ogden Theatre ^
06/03/13: Omaha, NE- The Waiting Room ^
06/04/13: Iowa City, IA- The Englert Theatre ^
06/05/13: St. Louis, MO- The Pageant ^
06/07/13: Indianapolis, IN- The Vogue ^
06/08/13: Louisville, KY- Headliners ^
06/09/13: Atlanta, GA- Variety Playhouse ^
06/11/13: Orlando, FL- Beacham Theatre ^
06/12/13: Ft. Lauderdale, FL- Culture Room ^
06/13/13: St. Augustine, FL- The Original Cafe Eleven ^
06/15/13: Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
07/12/13: Dublin, IE- The Iveagh Gardens
07/18/13: Nordfjordeid, NO- Malakoff
07/19/13: Tromso, NO- Bukta Festival

^ = with Strand of Oaks

tour dates

04/03/15

Tallarook, AU - Boogie Festival

04/05/15

Tallarook, AU - Boogie Festival

04/07/15

Melbourne, AU - Cherry Bar - FREE SHOW

04/08/15

Melbourne, AU - 170 Russell St.   w/ Gary Clark Jr.

04/09/15

Sydney, AU - Frankie's - FREE SHOW

04/10/15

Sydney, AU - The Metro  w/ Gary Clark Jr.

04/16/15

Chattanooga, TN - Track 29  w/ Jason Isbell
See all upcoming shows »

free downloads

Shut In by Strand of Oaks
Goshen '97 by Strand of Oaks

video

Shut In
by Strand of Oaks
Goshen '97
by Strand of Oaks
Same Emotions
by Strand of Oaks

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