With their latest record Hard Love still fresh on the shelves and a U.S. tour about to kick off at Union Transfer on Friday, Philly rockers Strand of Oaks just released a beautiful video for the album’s centerpiece, the aching piano ballad “Cry.”
The stark and minimal footage spotlights Oaks’ frontman Tim Showalter and his wife Sue, filmed in an intimate portrait style, listening to and reacting to the song. Sue looks pensive, she and Tim embrace; they step away, return to the center, tears are shed; and in the end, there’s goofy mugging for the camera and copious amounts of laughter.
As Tim and Sue have detailed in various interviews going back to Oaks’ cathartic 2014 LP HEAL, their marriage has not been all sunshine and roses; it’s hit rocky patches over the years, there haver been fights, there were points where one or the other strayed. But what long-term relationship is ever perfect, right? Tim and Sue have persevered, and that perseverance — and the strength contained within — is one of the pillars of this new album, reflected in its title. Sure, Hard Love plays on the imagery of hard drugs to draw a love-as-a-drug picture; but it also makes a pretty striaghtahead statement: love is hard.
The video was directed by Brody Bernheisel, and Sue has this to say about the experience:
The idea was to have us just interact naturally, but as the song went on, I got more and more emotional thinking about what we’ve been through, and the fact that the song is really my perspective on everything. I think it does a perfect job capturing our relationship in a pretty unfiltered way, good and bad, laughing and crying. After I saw it, it felt so real and moving that it had to be the video. It just made so much sense…the vulnerability of it all.
What we see in the end is a striking portrait of two best friends, two people who have been through emotional highs and lows and two people who care immensely for one another through it all. It captures the struggle, it captures the reconciliation, and it captures the love. Might we all aspire to have a relationship as solid as Tim and Sue.
Strand of Oaks headlines Union Transfer on Friday, March 10th; tickets and more information on the gig can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Says Sue: “
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