They have been called night songs. Music that takes you on a journey, that's what the judges of the 3VOOR12 Award 2011 wrote.
That prize was for Oasem (pronounced as awesome) by I am Oak, according to those judges the best Dutch album of that year. Thijs Kuijken from Utrecht wrote the folk album alone and performs it with I am Oak. A trip to Finland was a huge inspiration for the music, lyrics and whole idea of the album. Those big thoughts come in small songs and just because Kuijken is holding back, the album is full of tension. The album before Oasem was more acoustic; debut album On Claws has warm and soothing songs with banjo, organ and minimalistic beats.
And the latest I am Oak album completes the circle as it is recorded at the same location in Finland where the cover for Oasem was shot, this time with the complete band. Kuijken makes albums to listen to, not just a collection of singles with some fillers, it's a listening experience. In shows it's the same thing. At that time there is also a big chance that the music takes you away, wherever your dreams want to take you.
Press on I am Oak
★★★★ "Great beauty" – NRC
★★★★ "Stunning" – Nederlands Dagblad
★★★★ "Piece of art" – De Morgen (BE)
“Best thing we've heard in ages” – For Folks Sake (UK)
“No less impressive than a Bon Iver” – Rolling Stone (DE)
“Best songwriter record of the moment.” – Ondarock (IT)
“Delightful” – Lauren Laverne, BBC6Music (UK)
“Pure Delight” – RifRaf (BE)