I Am Oak Background Info
“I Am Oak is the creative output of Utrecht-based musician Thijs Kuijken. After the success of 2010 album ‘On Claws’, I Am Oak is back with new album ‘Oasem’, The slightly darker ‘Oasem’ resembles the overall theme of its predecessors, but musically it might be more removed from the previous album than one would expect. The acoustic backbone that characterized ‘On Claws’ has transformed to one consisting of organs, keyboards and even a balafon.” (via bandcamp)
What I really like about I Am Oak is the slow, methodical way Thijs Kuijken has of sucking you into the music. I Am Oak’s music isn’t flashy, it isn’t something that’s going to make you jump up and shake your groove ‘thang. This is your “thinking” music. I Am Oak makes the perfect kind of music that if you happen to have an ocean, lake, or pond near you, you can go there and listen to the music and think about whatever pops in your head.
Usually I don’t focus on lyrics too often, but the way the lyrics are crafted for I Am Oak’s songs is nothing short of poetic genius. Similar to the way Reina del Cid crafts her lyrics, there isn’t a single word added to I Am Oak’s songs that isn’t necessary. There’s no filler – each and every word adds a deeper meaning to the one before it and to the overall song.
In many ways I Am Oak reminds me of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Specifically the song Don’t I Know Enough. Towards the end of that song I found myself thinking of the CSNY song Find the Cost of Freedom. Not that the two songs sound anything alike, but the way voices are harmonized and how the focus is on the voices, rather than the instruments, I think draws some pretty strong parallels.
MarsBands.com appreciates I Am Oak’s music for it’s simplicity and and subtle delicacies. And in case you read the above bio and were wondering just what a balafon was I added a picture for you. Basically, it’s a wooden xylophone, to be incredibly generic about it (it’s in the idiophone family which also includes the xylophone, marimba, glockenspiel, and the vibraphone). There’s a little more to it than that, but if anyone ever asks you, well, now you know.