Tim Showalter’s hellishly abrupt near-demise late last year via a car accident was hardly the sole inspiration for Strand Of Oaks’ disarming new release. There was plenty of real-life drama before the accident to form the angst-ridden basis for what is easily Showalter’s most cathartic musical statement to date. Really, it was the culmination of a series of mini-mental breakdowns that began quite out of the blue, when Showalter was touring overseas for 2012’s Dark Shores, an album he wasn’t particularly proud of. On the road nonstop for two years, he was witnessing his marriage unravel from afar, and pretty much hating what he saw in the mirror. Emotionally spent and creatively unbound, he churned out 30 songs in three weeks. Ten of those made HEAL, an LP as off-putting as it is invigorating, and one that abandons the folky trappings of previous Strand Of Oaks releases—perhaps for good. Showalter will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our new feature on him.
Showalter: The most important song for me in recent memory. A lot of music is great but not important. Listening to “Pink Rabbits” became mandatory for me. I would associate this song with my lost month or months last fall. I unfortunately discovered that drinking potato vodka alone with the only the National to keep you company can be dangerous. I would find myself talking with angels and other crazy shit when this song was on repeat. Then I realized I don’t have to get fucked up to love this record. This song saved me and destroyed me simultaneously.
Video after the jump.