Ever since releasing debut LP On Claws (2010), Thijs Kuijken, the pivotal force behind Utrecht alt-folk/slowcore formation I Am Oak, has been an artist who opts to explore rather than reveal. That particular mindset is beautifully reflected in his music: always adrift in reverie, modestly surrendering to the moment, as his honeyed voice pleasantly rests between sound and poetry. I Am Oak is and always remains instantly recognizable in all its elusiveness and vividness.
On upcoming full-length Osmosis, released internationally September 6 on Snowstar Records, Kuijken reveals the origin of I Am Oak's intuitive work for the very first time. The title actually betrays it: "osmosis" is a term for the unconscious processing and assimilation of certain ideas, experiences, and knowledge. Music, but also photography, can potentially transform this process into something surreal. This has always been I Am Oak’s gift as well: Kuijken habitually transmutes his feelings and thoughts into natural phenomena and landscapes. A good example is "Kamikochi" where a sense of wonder about a straight rainbow in the Japanese Hida Mountains becomes the starting point for deeper reflections.