The Oaks:: Songs For Waiting

A record that I have listened to countless times in the last month or so is The Oaks’ Songs for Waiting. Although more organic sounding, this record has a spacious atmosphere resulting from a production feel baring resemblance to that whole Chicago Thrill Jockey/etc… scene that really took root in the nineties, through very clean and deliberate soundprints with an injected subversive trance. The Oaks story began back in 2003 when Ryan Costello sold all his posessions, moved to Afghanistan for two years, then came back and made Our Fathers and The Things They Left Behind with percussionist Matthew Antolick, and now the duo and friends have reconvened for Songs For Waiting. The songs are inspired by Costello’s experiences in Afghanistan and vary from meditative pieces, uplifting numbers, and others that defy categorization. It is evident how much thought was put into the songwriting as well as the instrumentation on Songs For Waiting, and though often a lot is going on, it never feels cluttered or clumsy; the space is filled well and it is in no small part due to the imaginative drumming of Matthew Antolick, who lays down some of the best stuff i’ve heard on record in a while. “The Heart is a lonely hunter” may be the most intense exposition here, coming with a spiral march of mesmerizng drum patterns mingling with acoustic guitar. Though, my favorite is “Pike County,” once again highlighted by Antolick who opens this subtle freakout that is colored with beautiful guitar flourishes, a seriously in-touch rhythm section, – – all culminating with Costello looking down from the mountain top taking in what he has learned from his adventures.

the two calls of dietrich bonheoffer.mp3the heart is alonely hunter.mp3masood.mp3Oaks Public Radio International session
the making of Songs For Waiting (Part 1)

the making of Songs For Waiting (Part 2)

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