Song of the Day: Strand of Oaks - Radio Kids

Song of the Day
01/18/2017
Andrew Hackett
photo by Beth Eisgrau-Heller

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the day podcast subscription.  This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unrealeased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJ’s think you should hear.  Today’s song, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “Radio Kids” by Strand of Oaks from their forthcoming album, Hard Love, due February 17th on Dead Oceans.

Strand of Oaks - Radio Kids (MP3)"I’m feeling sorry for myself / I’m feeling pretty old / At least I had that song / On the radio". Once a folky project, Timothy Showalter’s band Strand of Oaks grew in popularity along with its sound, particularly on in 2014's acclaimed Heal. Now, “Radio Kids” gives the listener the full barrage of rock and roll power as the first single of their forthcoming record, Hard Love. The sound is full with electric guitars, driving rhythm section and synth pads to fill every space. It's ambitious music, heightened by Showalter's earnest vocal yearnings.

Nostalgia and yearning for earlier times of musical discovery on the radio are all over the place in rock history.  Bob Dylan and countless others during the 60’s would tell stories of listening to delta blues from far away stations and being transformed through the sounds. Showalter sings about a time in the 80’s and early 90’s when people would still have blank tapes in cassette player, ready to record whatever song they were waiting to hear ("Remember how it felt to listen / fumbling to press record / strangest voice I’ve heard before"). It's an inward, solitary experience of listening to music as an adolescent but also transcendent in that you know there's a community out there for you somewhere in the world. You can hear it in this song.

You can hear Strand of Oaks yourself, out in the world, as they'll be touring their soon-to-be released album (due February 17th) and performing live in Seattle at Neumo’s on Friday, March 24th. Find out more about this and other dates on their website and Facebook page. For now, check out the brand new video for "Rest of It", another song from the forthcoming Hard Love LP:

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