:: Another contestant for album of the year. Heal is a true masterpiece, a record that really blows my mind.
Strand Of Oaks is the musical alter ego of Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter Timothy Showalter. Having released three folk-influenced albums to date, Strand Of Oaks turns towards rock’n’roll on his new album Heal. The follow-up to 2012’s Dark Shores is also Showalter’s most personal work so far, being of a confessional and cathartic quality that “forces the listener to where [Showalter] was at that exact moment, somewhere between almost dying and being absolutely fearless.”
Heal was officially released in the UK/Europe on June 23, 2014 via Dead Oceans. US release followed on June 24. The album is available as download, CD and 12″ vinyl LP. You can buy the set of ten tracks digitally from iTunes or order your physical copy of Heal directly from the Strand Of Oaks Shop.
Heal is produced by Showalter with synth export and studio engineer Ben Vehorn, the songs were mixed by alternative-rock icon John Congleton. The album is instrument and testimony of a personal healing process likewise. In a label press release, Showalter explains:
“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.” Showalter was on tour in Malmö, Sweden, when he first realised the personal crisis that would ultimately lead him to write Heal. “It was a culmination of pressure. 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…” Upon his return, he wrote 30 songs in three weeks which became his personal catharsis. If you wanna learn more about Strand Of Oaks and Heal you should check out the fantastic read over at Grantland.
The official video for second single Shut In is directed by Zia Anger. It’s inspired by famous and successful CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes, watch the clip above. Goshen ’97 was the first single taken from Heal. The title refers to Showalter’s hometown of Goshen, Indiana, and the songs comes with a music video directed, photographed & edited by Rick Alverson and produced by Matt Petock. Strand Of Oaks will be touring the USA throughout August/September and he’ll be heading over to Europe for 23 shows afterwards. You can check out the upcoming tour dates below and watch the Goshen ’97 video.
01. Goshen ’97
03. Same Emotions
04. Shut In
05. Woke Up To The Light
08. Mirage Year
09. For Me
10. Wait For Love
Upcoming Tour Dates:
Thu 07 Aug 2014 // Allston, MA, USA // Great Scott
Tue 12 Aug 2014 // Pittsburgh, PA, USA // Club Café
Thu 14 Aug 2014 // Cincinnati, OH, USA // MOTR Pub
Fri 15 Aug2014 // Bloomington, IN, USA // Russian Recording
Sat 16 Aug 2014 // Goshen, IN, USA // Ignition Music Garage
Mon 18 Aug 2014 // Milwaukee, WI, USA // Pabst Theater
>> The full touring schedule is available here.
The A.V. Club − Folk songwriter Strand Of Oaks heals on rock’n’roll masterpiece
Grantland − Strand Of Oaks Uncomfortably Confessional Greatness