THE OAKS-“ Our Fathers and the Things They Left Behind”

If indie rock were around in the 1960s, when Jorma was doing interesting, sweet and subtle acoustic picking for Jefferson Airplane, it might have sounded like The Oaks. They’re not folk and they’re not psychedelia (although both elements are here), and they’re definitely indie rock (complete with obtuse lyrics about relationships), but the overall sound—which combines the usual guitar-drum-bass with marimbas, bells, vibraphone, organs, electronica, trumpets, and even accordion—is rich and soothing, more than the average indie trio or foursome. “Freeing My Heart” is a complex organism that seems to live on its own: a breathing, whispering love song.

“Message from the Moon” advises that “one day we will stand before our maker” and “all our days are numbered,” but does so without being foreboding or depressing. In fact, it’s a rather hopeful message, delivered in the way one hopes a parent would teach a child. Our Fathers and the Things They Left Behind is a rich album that will reward repeated listens.

In keeping with the overall vibe, and the thought-provoking title, the band has arranged to donate half of the album’s profits will to The Global Hope Network, which benefits widows and recently-returned refugees in the mountains of Afghanistan.

For fans of: Postal Service, Iron and Wine, Crosby Stills Nash and Young.

Message From the Moon

For Hugh Thompson, Who Stood Alone. My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968

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