Joe Meno’s Office Girl and Strand of Oaks’s Hard Love

When it comes down to it, these pieces are about people who need to make art to communicate. Meno’s OFFICE GIRL centers around art-school dropouts, riding around on bikes and recording the sounds they stumble upon. Sounds a bit like Strand of Oaks’s single “Radio Kids” if you ask me.

The Onion’s A.V. Club said OFFICE GIRL is “a charming and unpretentious hipster love story destined to be the next cult classic.” These characters, Odile and Jack take in the Chicago terrain, dealing with love in the best ways they can. Timothy Showalter of Strand of Oaks is someone who knows how difficult that can be. Showalter’s 2013 album HEAL was written to help him deal with his marital infidelities, but with HARD LOVE, he said, “I’m sick of being the sad white guy with an acoustic guitar. We’re done with that shit.” He speaks of love with a crucial simplicity. Showalter, like Meno, knows sometimes the best way to communicate is through what comes simply to you.

HARD LOVE is out 2/17 from Dead Oceans Records.