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Strand of Oak| Photo by Dusdin Condren

For the most part, Strand of Oaks has laid low for 2016. There were a few festival gigs, including Shaky Knees, and of course his year-end sold-out Winter Classic run at Boot and Saddle this weekend — with an Arden Gild Hall performance the night before (tix still available for that). But after a mammoth two years of promoting 2014’s breakout LP HEAL, it’s totally understandable that Oaks main man Tim Showalter would need to step back and recharge. We’ve heard he spent a lot of time in the past several months hiking the Wissahickon trails. It’s seems, though, that the hibernation period is over and something new from Oaks is on the way very shortly.

Yesterday, a teaser video went up on the Strand of Oaks Facebook page — 30 moody and mysterious seconds of Showalter putting on his rings and black tanktop, his necklace and shades, his trademark denim jacket celebrating Sleep’s Dopesmoker. In the background, a haunting ambient guitar and pensive vocals from what sounds like a new Oaks song play. “He ran away,” Showalter sings. “He went searching. He came back, tired of looking.”

This clip poises Showalter as getting ready for battle, it seems — maybe even feeling a bit like an outtake from the pre-Pelennor Fields scene in Return of the King? Okay, that’s probably just me. In any case, we here at XPN are psyched to see what all this is about. Watch it below, and get tickets and more information on Oaks’ Arden show at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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