Strand Of Oaks, Almost Erased
Welcome to the new music review where we connect you with some of the best new music from around the world. Read on, click through to our Spotify playlist and enjoy it all on 2SER!
Strand of Oaks, the project by singer-songwriter Timothy Showalter, returns with his sixth album ‘Eraserland’. Teaming up with Jason Isbell and the majority of the members of My Morning Jacket who come on board as his backing band, this was a record that almost never happened. Showalter was ready to call this project quits when unbeknownst to him, Carl Broemel of My Morning Jacket, booked a studio and convinced him to write this album. A sincere and compelling set of songs with a newfound energy, that sprawl into the dreamier ends of psych-rock and freak-folk.
Fronting London based group Ibibio Sound Machine is Eno Williams, who charge ahead to bring us ‘Doko Mien’. William’s credits much of the album to Nigerian folk stories she was told as a child, with Ibibio being her mother and grandmother’s native language. Most of us listening to this won’t understand the Ibibio, but the sheer passion and feeling that come across is inescapable. One thing that remains consistent in Ibibio Sound Machine’s music is it’s playfulness, and this record is no different with it being boisterous, and fresh fusion of funk, disco, electronica, Afrobeat, and soul.
And closer to home is Adelaide four-piece Fair Maiden who release their second album ‘Oleander’, which takes its name after the poisonous tree. The band have likened the album to a slow death, and though there is a hymnal and noirish quality to these songs, there’s an all consuming feel too which I would guess lends itself to that dark comparison. Recorded over two days, in a converted church in Adelaide, Fair Maiden have really embodied the space there and have pressed loads of atmosphere into the final output. There’s a large gothic-country and folky twang across the album, but also some doo wop harmonies that give it that extra lift. And with Ellen Carey at the helm on vocals, those are just the stylistic directions to take.
Plus new singles from Bedouine, Good Morning, Laneous, Sweet Whirl, and the first cut from Mavis Staples‘ just announced, forthcoming album.