Album of the Week: Strand of Oaks | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

Album of the Week: Strand of Oaks

Runners Up Include: Jenny Lewis, Andrew Bird, Tamaryn, Sleeper, Nilüfer Yanya, and These New Puritans

Mar 22, 2019
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We haven't done an Album of the Week post since January, but there are some upcoming albums truly worthy of the title, starting with the new one by Strand of Oaks (the project of Timothy Showalter), Eraserland, released today via Dead Oceans. Below is more info on the album, as well as a round up and streams for other notable albums released today.

Strand of Oaks: Eraserland (Dead Oceans)

You can read our rave 8.5/10 review of Eraserland here.

The majority of My Morning Jacket (Carl Broemel, Bo Koster, Patrick Hallahan, and Tom Blankenship) back-up Showalter on Eraserland, which also features Jason Isbell and Emma Ruth Rundle.

The album is the follow-up to 2017's Hard Love. Kevin Ratterman produced the album, which was recorded at La La Land Studios in Louisville, KY. A previous press release set the stage for the album: "Empty and determined that he would never write songs again, dark thoughts crept in and Showalter, concerned for his own well-being decided to go on a spiritual pilgrimage - to the Jersey Shore." His friends in My Morning Jacket, especially Carl Broemel, heard Showalter was in a bad way and offered their assistance in recording the next Strand of Oaks album, that they could be his backing band. So Showalter got to writing and demoing the new album in February 2017, alone in Wildwood, NJ. Then the album was recorded in Louisville in April 2017.

"This project seemed to just fall together naturally," said Broemel in the press release. "I felt drawn to Tim's positive energy and his albums...I threw it out there that I'd be happy to help in any way I could with the record." 

My Morning Jacket's Patrick Hallahan added: "I remember sitting next to Tim and Kevin listening to the final mixes with tears rolling down my cheeks. From start to finish, this one came from the heart."

The press release called "Forever Chords" the definitive track on Eraserland, saying the song is "the manifestation of everything he hoped to achieve on this record and for Strand of Oaks as a whole."

Showalter added: "When I finished writing 'Forever Chords,' I felt like this is either the last song I ever need to write, or the rebirth of Strand of Oaks."

Previously Strand of Oaks shared Eraserland's first single, and opening track, "Weird Ways" (which was our #1 Song of the Week). Then he shared another song from it, "Ruby," via a video that is made up of home movie footage captured by his father (Jeff Showalter) on a video camera when he was a child. "Ruby" was also our #1 Song of the Week. Then Showalter shared another song from the album, the slow-burner "Keys," which he says is something of a love song for his wife Sue and which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Showalter also stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to perform "Ruby." As on the album, Showalter was backed by members of My Morning Jacket (Bo Koster and Tom Blankenship). He was also joined by Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires.

Strand of Oaks Tour Dates:

4/10 - FM Kirby Center - Wilkes-Barre, PA
4/11 - U Street Music Hall - Washington, D.C.
4/12 - Motorco Music Hall - Durham, NC
4/13 - The Earl - Atlanta, GA
4/14 - Saturn - Birmingham, AL
4/16 - Antone's - Austin, TX
4/17 - Three Links - Dallas, TX
4/19 - Meow Wolf - Santa Fe, NM
4/20 - Valley Bar - Phoenix, AZ
4/22 - Teragram Ballroom - Los Angeles, CA
4/23 - The Independent - San Francisco, CA
4/25 - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR
4/26 - Neumos - Seattle, WA
4/27 - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC
4/28 - The Bartlett - Spokane, WA
5/1 - Turf Club - Minneapolis, MN
5/2 - High Noon Saloon - Madison, WI
5/3 - Lincoln Hall - Chicago, IL
5/4 - The Hi-Fi - Indianapolis, IN
5/6 - Beachland Tavern - Cleveland, OH
5/7 - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA
5/8 - Sinclair - Boston, MA
5/9 - Music Hall of Williamsburg - Brooklyn, NY
5/10 - Union Transfer - Philadelphia, PA
5/20 - Metropool - Hengelo, THE NETHERLANDS
5/21 - Blue Shell - Cologne, GERMANY
5/23 - Loppen - Copenhagen, DENMARK
5/24 - Privatclub - Berlin, GERMANY
5/25 - TivoliVredenburg - Utrecht, THE NETHERLANDS
5/26 - TRIX - Antwerp, BELGIUM
5/27 - Omeara - London, UK
5/29 - Brudenell Social Club - Leeds, UK
5/31 - Whelan's - Dublin, IRELAND
6/29 - Rock Werchter - Werchter, BELGIUM

Album of the Week Runner-ups (Also Released This Week):

Andrew Bird: My Finest Work Yet (Loma Vista)

Jenny Lewis: On the Line (Warner Bros.)

Sleeper: The Modern Age (Gorsky Records)

Tamaryn: Dreaming the Dark (Dero Arcade)

These New Puritans: Inside the Rose (BMG)

Nilüfer Yanya: Miss Universe (ATO)

(Plus the new albums by American Football, Apparat, Avey Tare, Ex Hex, Ibibio Sound Machine, Lambchop, Marble Arch, and Spiral Stairs were all also released today.)

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