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*hearts of oak* / Press

“[PSYCH-COUNTRY] Nate Wallace’s Hearts of Oak play dark-alley Americana that strays now and again into spacier territory. The Portland musician cites Spiritualized and Crazy Horse as big influences, especially on his latest record, New England. Vocally, Wallace is as tried-and-true as they come, touting an airy voice of old. Musically, Hearts of Oak prefers to wander, pairing eerie, steely folk with biting fuzz-rock. The trio (and sometimes quartet) has a revisionist quality about it, taking a classic genre and putting it under a blurrier, sometimes stoned, microscope.”

“knarziger-nasal charm that reminds me of the young Bob Dylan, even the Lord is his almost childlike approach to the music. After all.”

“Delivering a Jason Molina-inspired album, New England is a nine-track collection of songs that owe as much to the Americana forefathers as it does Crazy Horse, Velvet Underground, and even Spiritualized.”

“this isn’t a Buzzfeed album, full of musical click bait. It’s subtle in how it gains your affection.”

“When put together...well, it just makes the listener so sad that they will have to take a moment after this album is done to contemplate what makes their lives enjoyable.”

“Grey Riders Acoustic Rolling Stones almost seems a valid reference at times here. There is very much a country meets pop rock element here.”

“It's not long, though, before some wonderful fuzzed guitar trembling s are woven with the slide guitar and the desolate landscapes become buzzing soundscapes. Nate's acoustic guitar and voice almost echoing through the dance halls.”

“This record has a real fire about it and anyone with a liking for the likes of Drive by Truckers, Deertick and The Felice Bros should certainly seek out Hearts of Oak.”

“New England is that off-the-wall and that fascinating, a blend of the old, the new, the mundane, the quietly psychotic, all blended into the creepy strangeness we experienced while watching Deliverance…this time with a good deal more Twin Peaks.”

“this is a disc that creates a new genre of its own, and this is real “new country”.”

“With a heavy dose of Giant Sand, hints of Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Fred Eaglesmith singing on helium, Hearts of Oak’s brand of psych-country ambles along on the hazy, largely somber New England.”

“The record represents a bit of a departure for Hearts of Oak. Nate’s terrific folksy songwriting and nasally vocal remain, but the record features an extra dose of fuzzed-out guitars (standard six-string electric and pedal steel) courtesy of Ezra and his brother Joel, who served as producers on the project.”

““Used to It Now”—from the gentle fingerpicking and delectable pedal steel to frontman Nate Wallace’s Dylan-like delivery and apparent relationship struggles—later tracks bludgeon you with heavier elements. Slow-burning cornerstone “Trouble Your Mind,” for example, begins with an expected stock of acoustics and slide before dual electric guitars descend into a wave of delayed fuzz.”

“While he does give the songs the heart, it's the guitars that makes these songs emotional. Each song is played slow where they even have this downhome country droll to them that is just amazing. Each song has a different sound while keeping that slow, easy listening country flavor to them.”

“Frontman Nate Wallace is a revelation. In addition to being a gifted songwriter, he sings with a nasally twang that practical compels you to pay attention to every word he utters.”

“A song writing vehicle for nova Scotia born Nate Wallace, Hearts of Oak second album Used To It Now is out now, Wallace based out of Portland OR has assembled a quality support cast of local musicians for the recording, and whilst there’s no attempt to re-write the alt-country rule book Wallace has a knack for melody and has released a solid album of slow burning low-key alt-country songs.”

“A bit reedy. And a lot nasal. And just perfect for this collection of down on your luck/no luck tunes. Listening to it makes me feel like I’m doing a whole lot better. It also has the makings of something that will only get stronger with age. I’m sure it’s going to be playing a lot this summer as the weather gets hot and everything slows down.”