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Country/Folk

Strand of Oaks

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About

Anthemic Americana with a synth-pop flavour from Indiana's Timothy Showalter

Order In Heaven by Strand Of Oaks here

Timothy Showalter was almost a basketball player. Then he was a teacher. Then he was almost homeless after a house fire. If he never fully became any of those things, then what is Timothy Showalter? Timothy Showalter is Strand Of Oaks, a band that excels at combining raw emotion, hazy nostalgia, electrified Americana and pulsating synth-driven anthems.

Contrary to his appearance – somewhere between Norse warrior and thrash metal drummer – Showalter’s first release as Strand Of Oaks, 2009’s Leave Ruin, was all folk. By his second album, Pope Killdragon, he’d already started to introduce elements of Tangerine Dream, Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel’s synth pop into his sound. The album was critically acclaimed – including an 8.1 from Pitchfork – but failed to make a dent commercially.

Showalter abandoned his synth-flavoured Americana on Dark Shores, a move he later said he regretted. Revisiting some of the material for the Darker Shores EP brought Dead Oceans calling and Strand Of Oaks signed to the indie label for his fourth album, 2014’s HEAL. In many ways, the album was the sound of Showalter finding the Strand Of Oaks he’d been searching for, while also literally healing from a fractured marriage and ribs broken in a car crash. Reviews favourably compared the album to The War On Drugs and Phosphorescent.

HEAL kickstarted Strand Of Oaks, leading to a run of acclaimed albums that further refined the band’s sound, 2017’s Hard Love and 2019’s Eraserland, the latter recorded with members of My Morning Jacket.

In summer 2021, Strand Of Oaks previewed their upcoming new album In Heaven with the single Galacticana. A run of Strand Of Oaks UK tour dates were also announced to support the album.