Album Review: Strand of Oaks' Miracle Focus

With eighth release, Strand of Oaks preaches harmony

Originally from Indiana, Austin transplant Timothy Showalter from alternative/indie band Strand of Oaks released his newest album, Miracle Focus, on June 7.

The album is a collection of bright and synth-heavy music that acknowledges beautiful and peaceful moments from the artist’s life. For his eighth release, the main message is joy and uplifting the listeners’ spirits.

Opening song “More You” introduces sounds similar to the meditative mantras of musician Ram Dass. That being said, the first song that caught my interest was “Navigator.” It opens mystical and quiet before the beat picks up into electric rhythms that I can imagine playing at a roller-skating rink. However, what really draws me in are the lyrics: “Peace, love, relax your mind, breathe,” reflecting Showalter’s commitment to meditation and self-love. Although the lyrics repeat, the positive message, upbeat energy, and brain-scratching synthetic sound grabs the attention.

The soft guitar on track “Party at Monster Lake” slows down the sizzling energy featured in the first part of the album. Showalter loses the robotic voice and displays the range of his own, while reminiscing about irreplaceable memories of rainy days at a special place with friends.

“Fantasy Wrangler” repeats the mantra “If you do good things, I hope they’ll come back to you.” He emphasizes the spiritual influence referenced consistently throughout the album. Positivity is at the forefront of this song, as with the rest of the album, which is a derivation of themes discussed in previous Strand of Oaks work. While juggling a new stint as an actor on FX’s Mayans MC, Showalter focuses on self-centering practices and takes the time to appreciate his support system. “Seek out the ones that will help you through,” Showalter says in the album’s second track, “Communication.” This reinforces the encouragement of the album’s overall message: Seek out harmonious connections with friends, family, and the universe.

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