5. Strand Of Oaks – HEAL

“HEAL” by Strand Of Oaks

Country: US
Release date: 24 June 2014
Label: Dead Oceans

“I was an Indiana kid, getting no one in my bed
I had your sweet tunes to play
I was staring at the map, feeling fire in my head
I had your sweet tunes to play
I was mean to my dad, cause I was mean to myself
I had your sweet tunes to play
Stealing smokes in my car, with the window way down
I had your sweet tunes to play
Your sweet tunes to play”

I really really love the guitars on HEAL. They are violent and they are intense, which makes it very suitable that the great J Mascis does a guest appearance on opening track “Goshen ’97”. The lines I’ve chosen above are the opening passage to the song “JM”. This particular passage is part of an amazing build up that ends up erupting and unleashing one of the most emotionally filled guitar barrages I’ve ever heard. JM refers to the late Jason Molina (of Songs: Ohia) and it’s a beautiful tribute to his memory. It also makes a perfect contribution to the overall story of the album. HEAL servs as Timothy Showalter’s autobiography. It’s filled with nostalgia, but there’s nothing shimmery about it. Instead it’s dark, grizzly, sometimes even self-loathing. Together all of these parts makes up the most interesting rock album of 2014.

“Goshen ’97” (official music video)

“Shut In” (official music video)

“Same Emotions” (official music video)

Play on Spotify

Visit Strand Of Oaks’ website

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