With so many emotional country-rock singer/songwriters out there, it can be tough to stand out, but Tim Showalter, a.k.a. Strand of Oaks, has. Records like 2017’s Hard Love (QRO review) have delivered the powerful feelings and mix of intimacy & epic that one is looking for. If latest Eraserland doesn’t reinvent that wheel, and can’t be as surprising, that’s just because it’s what we’ve come to expect from Strand of Oaks.
Showalter is very clearly facing his own mortality on Eraserland. There’s the echoing call of opener “Weird Ways” and stripped, acoustic lament on the musician “Wild and Willing”, plus the slow, sad, reverberating final two, “Eraserland” and the extended (nine-plus minutes) “Forever Chords”. But it’s not all depressed, as there’s the grittier take on life “Moon Landing”, and even upbeat & wry in “Final Fires” and “Ruby”, plus pressing indie-rock “Hyperspace Blues”.
Tim Showalter’s introspective soul baring has been delivering for years as Strand of Oaks, and that continues on Eraserland.