February 12, 2014
by Tjeerd van Erve
“We sang hymns on the holy ground. We sang hymns on the holy ground. We sang hymns the holy ground. We Sang Hymns On The Holy Ground. *_* WE SANG HYMNS ON THE HOLY GROUND. WE! SANG! HYMNS! ON! THE! HOLY! GROUND! we sang hymns on the holy ground”
The stage is sacred. It’s the place to worship music. For years “Birches” as been the highlight of the I Am Oak celebrations of this deity. With Ols Songd one can finally experience the devotion at home, as it has found its place as the righteous closure of this collection of old reworked and rerecorded old songs.
With every record since On Claws, I Am Oak has been refining itself, Thijs Kuijken becomes more determined in voice he wants to air and the sound that his I Am Oak should have. And every record the band comes closer to perfection: sparser, bolder in each and every way, the stable factor being the songs themselves. Beause Kuijken has a neck for capturing melodies and intoxicating lines.
Sobriety still the core of I Am Oak, the redressing of these new old songs is one in detail. Not unlike the previous records, Ols Songd finds a safe harbour in the combination of bare naked slowcore and folk, with precisely timed, timid drums and creeping guitars. A sobriety welded with the rhythm of prayer and devotion. Not only in the closing song “Birches”, but throughout the whole record does I Am Oak offer a transcendent middle earth. Away from haste and hurry, in peace, singing hymns on holy ground.
*_* include hoarse shouting voice here.