by Craig Howieson

‘We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.’

The above – perhaps now overused – quote from Orson Welles is a sobering assessment of our fleeting existence. It is a quote many feel compelled to run from. For despite the truth held within, a life spent truly alone is unfathomable.

However, on new single Galacticana, his first new music since 2019’s Erasureland, Strand of Oaks’ Timothy Showalter focuses on the love and friendship Welles describes, but shows a determination to prove that it is not a mere illusion of companionship we cultivate, but something set far deeper.  

Once again daubing his canvas in gargantuan psychedelic Americana, it is a track of musically enormous proportions. Yet, within his words, we discover the subtle observations of life’s levellers that expand the lens on what can be when we let others in.

‘I don’t wanna drag you down,’ Showalter sings on the song’s refrain – doing anything but as a Godly guitar solo rips through the track and evaporates into rolling drums that clatter like a battered ship’s sails. 

Galacticana feels bold because it is bold. It feels inclusive because it revels in the universal highs and the pitfalls that frame our individual existence. By accepting help in facing challenges, seeking kindred spirits, or, as Sholwalter sings, ‘freaking out a little bit together,’ our bonds are strengthened and our psyches align – making the world a far less terrifying and lonely place to be.

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