When folk rock guitarist and songwriter Timothy Showalter first started his musical project Strand of Oaks, he did so as a heartbroken and homeless man. After losing his wife to an affair and his house to a fire, the touring musician set out to find his own voice and sound. The outcome was a endearing folk-synth-rock band that borders somewhere between deeply personal and mysteriously fantastical.
After spending a good portion of the year opening up for the indie folk legends My Morning Jacket, Showalter recently announced the release of his fifth full-length album under the the Strand of Oaks moniker, Hard Love. The nine-track record is a followup to the 2014 breakthrough album HEAL, his first release while signed to the popular indie music label Dead Oceans.
To accompany the exciting announcement of the new album, Strand of Oaks has also shared a powerful music video for the first single off Hard Love, “Radio Kids”. The track itself shows off a more anthemic rock side of Showalter’s musical abilities, packed with distorted guitar leads and crowd rallying lyrics. In the song, Showalter seems to reminisce on the past for better or for worse, but in the hook, is able to end on a high not by singing “but at least I had that song on the radio.”
The visual for “Radio Kids”, directed by Christopher Good, features gigantic rocks smashing alarm clocks, young vandals wandering around dressed as referees, and Showalter shredding on his guitar as his long hair whips majestically in slow motion. All in all, the song seems to center around Showalter’s longing for his youthful past, while also appreciating those moments that have made him the musician he is today.
Hard Love is scheduled to drop on February 17 via Dead Oceans. Here’s the expected tracklist for the record:
01 Hard Love
02 Radio Kids
04 Salt Brothers
05 On the Hill
07 Quit It
08 Rest of It
09 Taking Acid and Talking to My Brother