October 2016
more... CDArtistsAlbum ReviewEar to the GroundReviewsStrand of Oaks

Ear to the Ground: Strand of Oaks’ “Goshen ’97”

Strand of Oaks-feat

What’s not to like about Strand of Oaks’ second album? It pulls from the indie folk-pop perfection of Fleet Foxes, the timeless tones of Neil Young & Crazy Horse, the sonic orchestrations of Phosphorescent, and the guitar solos of Dinosaur Jr.

Actually, that happens to be J Mascis playing the blisteringly loud solos on “Goshen ’97”—the opening song from Strand of Oaks’ album Heal. Frontman/songwriter Timothy Showalter pens the kind of nostalgic lyrics that appeal to everyone—but especially to musicians. In “Goshen ’97,” he harks back to his humble, college-town beginnings in Indiana, with an endearing narrative that touches on living in a basement, buying used Casio keyboards with his friend, finding his dad’s old tape machine, and singing Smashing Pumpkins in the mirror. But the clincher is the chorus: “"I was lonely, but I was having fun."

Anyone who remembers that first experience of cloistering themselves in their bedroom to learn how to lay down that first overdub—whether via a Tascam 4-track or Garage Band—knows all too well that home-recording is one of the best ways to turn crippling loneliness into an epic one-person party. Strand of Oaks just turned it into an anthem. strandofoaks.net




User Reviews And Comments

Your gear experience and opinions are valuable—and powerful. To maximize the usefulness of your review to fellow players, be as thorough as possible in describing your experiences and insights for every ratings category (Tones, Playability, Ease of Use, etc.). Regardless of your overall opinion on a piece of gear, please be respectful and courteous to companies and other reviewers.