Based in Philadelphia, the one-man band's history and its music are inevitably intertwined. When both Showalter's home burned down and he separated from his fiancée in 2003, the songwriter relied on an acoustic guitar to compose nearly two albums worth of emotionally charged songs.
Strand of Oaks’ crooning vocals and rich instrumentation are reminiscent of Bon Iver and Fleet of Foxes, yet Showalter’s lyrics truly set him apart. Odd compositions such as "Daniel’s Blues," written about John Belushi’s death from the perspective of Dan Aykroyd, give the listener a taste of the artist's dark humor and prompt a curiosity for the writing process.
Strand of Oaks highlights evocative lyrics and sounds with its second and latest album, Pope Killdragon, released in 2010. Showalter joined Joe Pug in St. Louis for a performance at Off Broadway on May 3.