The project of Indiana-born, Philadelphia-based singer/songwriter and producer Tim Showalter, Strand of Oaks specializes in bold and anthemic indie Americana that draws from classic rock and folk. Skillfully blending traditional singer/songwriter introspection with stadium-ready melodies in the vein of artists like War on Drugs and My Morning Jacket, Showalter emerged in 2009 with Leave Ruin. He continued to develop as a songwriter on subsequent outings like Heal (2014) and Eraserland (2019), testing his emotional limits and seeking catharsis in the no man's land between joy and ruin.
Showalter, who began writing and performing in 2003, issued his first collection of songs under the moniker Leave Ruin in 2009 via the Pennsylvania-based indie label La Société Expéditionnaire. Strand of Oaks' sophomore outing, the appropriately titled Heal, arrived in 2014 via Dead Oceans Records after a period of turmoil and self-reflection. Returning from a hectic and often hedonistic tour, Showalter reentered the studio to record his follow-up to Heal. Again using his own life experiences as inspiration, the album melded the sound of Alan McGee's Creation Records' output with dub and classic rock influences. The resulting Hard Love, which was produced by Nicolas Vernhes (Speedy Ortiz, Dirty Projectors), appeared at the beginning of 2017 — Harder Love, a companion piece featuring demos, B-sides, and alternative renditions arrived the following year. Showalter teamed up with My Morning Jacket members Carl Broemel, Bo Koster, Patrick Hallahan, and Tom Blankenship for his next full-length, the emotionally charged Eraserland. ~ James Christopher Monger