“And the youth inside would scream and shout, like a dagger in the heart we ripped it out”
The first time I heard about Mighty Oaks was pretty unexpected. I went to the INTRODUCING! tour at the Zoom in Frankfurt, Germany in May last year, which showcased international newcomer-bands. As a huge fan of Chvrches, I actually didn’t have an eye on any other band on the line-up. Well, as it turned out, I was blown away by these three guys opening up for the event that called themselves Mighty Oaks.
The indie-folk band based in Berlin, comprised of lead singer Ian Hooper from the U.S., Claudio Donzelli from Italy and Craig Saunders from the UK, was founded in 2010 and released the self-produced EP, Driftwood Seat, shortly after. 2013 marked the release of their Just One Day EP and their signing to Vertigo/Capitol Records. With their buzz steadily growing, last week the trio put out its debut album, Howl, which peaked at #1 on the German iTunes Album Chart.
Three different nations coming together – I feel like this always makes for an interesting result. To get you familiar with Mighty Oaks’ sound, this is what you can find on the band’s official page: “Acoustic guitars and mandolins at the centre of their sound, layers of electric guitars creating space and depth, rounded off through solid bass lines and the heartbeat of a simple drum.” As it is often with folk, the beauty of nature is where the band finds its inspirations for songs – in this case, it comes most especially from Hooper’s birthplace of the Pacific Northwest U.S.
I know that folk music is considered an American thing and people are not generally too excited about it over here in Europe. However, the success of Mumford & Sons over the past few years as well as The Lumineers with the smash “Ho Hey” has proven that there is room for this genre to grow. If anything, check out Mighty Oaks when they come to your city. They’ve been performing heavily since I came across them and even supported Kings of Leon on tour, so you can only assume that there is something special about their live show.
Whether you are in your car driving to work on a rainy day or you are laying in bed hung-over on the weekend, I promise, Mighty Oaks will spread some positivity into your day. With 13 tracks filled with lush production, catchy melodies and timeless songwriting, Howl is a compelling listen all the way through. Below, you will find the video for the song “Brother,” probably the catchiest song from the album. If you like it, check out the album on iTunes. If you’re not tapping your feet with the rhythm by the time the chorus comes along, there’s something wrong with you.