Harts of Oak
Gig Seeker Pro

Harts of Oak

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF

Houston, Texas, United States | SELF
Band Folk Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dig This: Cavernous, Harts Of Oak, Folk Family Revival, Chemistry, and Drifter"

his project garnered "Best Folk Act" honors in our recent Houston Press Music Awards. Folk may have been at the roots of their humble beginnings, but since blossoming into a full band their sound has shifted into a driving lo-fi indie rock sound that yearns for the late nineties/early aughts.
Their latest EP, August's The Old States would have been right at home on Burnt Toast Vinyl or Jade Tree Records. The title track slips in some slide guitar, though, and brings the listener back to the western twinges that decorate Harts Of Oak's sound. - Houston Press

"Harts of Oak, Birds & Bees"

There’s a great, great, unassuming warmth and charm to Harts of Oak’s recent EP Birds & Bees; it’s almost like a kind of innocence, really, where the band thinks they’re okay but aren’t really sure beyond that. They sound like a band that honestly doesn’t realize how freaking good they are, and I can’t help but love that.
These three guys — when this was recorded, the band consisted of Alex Skalany, Matthew Seferian, and Atticus Lopez, although they’ve expanded somewhat since — don’t set out to blow any doors off, but rather just kind of shrug and dive into it, meandering gently through the low-key “Tuesday Morning,” with its up-close, downcast-yet-comfortable vocals and hesitatingly strummed/picked guitar. As intro songs go, it’s a slow-burner, but it still does the job admirably, bridging the gap between early Iron & Wine and Conor Oberst’s more restrained emo-pop (or maybe Western Keys’ sadly short-lived folk-gaze).
“Plan B” picks things up a bit, all jangly and droney and sweet, while remaining on the friendly, gentle end of the musical spectrum. The shy-boy vocals and driving-yet-gentle melody make me think of the best parts of Silver Scooter, a band that’s always one of my favorite musical touchstones. Then there’s “Heartbeats & Crowns,” which starts deceptively delicate and quiet but revs up (gently, naturally) to a jangly, sharp/shiny haze.
Somewhere towards the midpoint of “Heartbeats,” it hits me that while these guys are subtle and delicate, to be sure, it’s not laidback mellowness I’m hearing. There’s a cool, understated intensity to all of Birds & Bees, a feeling like there’s something bubbling below the surface, ready to explode out but held back out of fear, sense, or some combination of the two. Harts of Oak play like they’re biting their collective tongue, afraid of what’ll come out if they cut loose but imbuing everything with a restless, desperate energy nonetheless. And that’s no mean trick to pull off.
The cracks finally start to show on “Just Call it Global Warming,” with that carefully-crafted reserve slipping down a bit to let loose some of the bile and pain that’s built up behind. The band shoves the tentativeness of the previous tracks aside in favor of frankness and bitterness, and the hurt’s evident in both the vocals and belligerent guitar lines. It seems appropriate that the song is seriously reminiscent of Austinites The Eastern Sea (especially when it gets to the call-and-response bit, handclaps, and gang vocals), given that the Sea is great at this exact sort of thing: carefully building up tension to the point where the dam breaks and it all comes rushing out in a flood.
After that, things seem to get a bit more introspective. “Ghost,” in particular, reads like that quiet brooding that comes after a bitter, angry showdown with a (former?) lover; it’s uncertain and drifting, with a Death Cab-esque bed of sweet, just-distorted-enough guitars under the quiet vocals. I love the head-nodding, sleeping lushness of the track as it builds and builds towards a crescendo of thundering, crashing, utterly beautiful, sky-pointing spacerock.
“Nothing Else” closes the EP out by grabbing hold of all the gently-strummed guitars, soft vocals, and held-back feelings and throwing them headlong into a rough-edged country-folk song. The track speeds up briefly into a half-yodeling break before the song’s protagonist finally attempts to find some closure at the end of the relationship that’s chronicled throughout the EP. It’s uncertain and hopeful and, frankly, pretty awesome.
Overall, Birds & Bees is an unadorned gem of an EP, one that ranks up with the best things I’ve heard in recent years; it’s poignant and sweet and pained and careful, in all the most wonderful of ways. - Space City Rock


History EP
Birds & Bees EP
The Old States EP
Come and Take It single



Harts of Oak, formed in 2010, began as a folk duo consisting of Matthew Seferian and Alex Skalany. The songs consisted of two guitars and occasionally a piano and the music was heavily influenced by folk singers like The Tallest Man on Earth, Bob Dylan, and the Two Gallants. As a two piece, Harts of Oak only performed once and took a break soon after. In 2011, these original acoustic recordings were rediscovered, produced and released on 12? vinyl by Analog Brick Records in San Antonio.

In 2011, Harts of Oak introduced drummer, Atticus Lopez, and the music began to take an entirely new dynamic.

With the addition of a drummer, Harts of Oak explored the combination of Folk Rock, Indie Rock, and Post Rock to create a distinct sound pulling from artists like Pavement, Wilco, The New Year, This Will Destroy You, and Austin local, The Eastern Sea. In 2011, Harts of Oak released their second EP, “Birds and Bees”, a collection of songs, recorded at Red Shack Studios in Houston, showcasing the wide influences of the band and displaying the new direction the music had turned to. Soon after the release of “Birds & Bees”, Harts of Oak headlined an EP release show at Mangos Cantina in Houston and a free house show showcasing other local Houston artists.

Today, Harts of Oak has records being sold in Nashville, Omaha, St. Louis, Washington, Texas, and continuing to expand every day. Harts of Oak has now released the follow up to “Birds & Bees”, “The Old States”. A 4-track farewell to their home town and previous life. The release of the EP was celebrated with an in-store performance at renowned music store, Cactus Records.