Timothy Showalter has spent the past five or six years traveling this earth playing deeply affecting, unmistakably personal folk-rock under the name Strand Of Oaks. His discography is varied in aesthetic but uniformly powerful, ranging from the ornate fragility of Leave Ruin to the heartrending art-rock of Pope Killdragon to the spare singer-songwriter confessionals of Dark Shores. Showalter has linked up with Dead Oceans for his next album, HEAL, and from the sounds of the first single, his sound has morphed more radically than ever this time around. “Goshen ’97” is a driving roots-rock track that employs relentless backbeat, guitar theatrics (from none other than J Mascis!), and weathered vocal harmonies in service of a rocket-fueled nostalgia trip. If you’re familiar with Strand Of Oaks already, this blast of meat-and-potatoes bombast will shock you, and if you aren’t familiar with Showalter, it just might convert you. Listen below.
HEAL is out 6/24 on Dead Oceans.