Timothy Showalter has been touring endlessly the past few years, continually shifting the shape of his heartfelt, art-damaged (heart-damaged?) folk-rock under the Strand Of Oaks name while maintaining his unmistakable voice and spirit. Fourth album Heal is his first for a label, and for those just getting familiar with Showalter’s work, it’s quite an introduction. As Showalter explained in our interview, the record finds him coping with a disintegrated marriage, substance abuse, and a feeling of alienation from himself by clinging to music, the one stable element in his life. In the process, he created some astounding music that rocks like Strand Of Oaks has never rocked while eliciting feels like Strand Of Oaks has always elicited feels. You’ve heard “Goshen ’97,” “Shut In,” and the astounding Jason Molina “JM,” and now you can hear the whole of Heal at NPR.
Heal is out 6/24 on Dead Oceans.