Emerging singer-songwriter Neil Holyoak is the founder and songwriter for the US/Canadian 5-peice Holy Oak. Originally performing under the name hi, lonely oak received an excellent response at the 2007 Pop Montreal festival and Neil's first EP "All These Mountains Look the Same" was short-run released through Broken Electric Records. A new release is planned later this year self titled as Holy Oak. Neil was introduced to music with The Smiths' Hatful of Hollow CD at a young age, and began writing songs when he was 16. "An old rock guitar player named Miles taught me to play... I asked him how to play so that it 'sounds good, but isn't hard,' and he told me that finger-picking was where it was at." In his late teens he suffered from depression and was sent to a strict reform school in Montana where he wasn't allowed to have a guitar or to listen to music. He started borrowing guitars from other kids and writing and recording songs on an old tape machine. "I would record multiple tracks by bouncing between the tape machine and a little cassette player I had. Also I would smuggle CDs in and record them on my cassette player... secretly listening to music after lights out was one of the greatest joys of my life for the next sixteen months... I wrote a lot of songs in Montana, I guess, because I didn't have anything else to do. Not many of them were any good, but I'd guess I wrote at least two hundred songs in my time there. At the time I thought those songs were just practice songs, but later I found out that all songs are essentially just practice songs...Outside of my bedroom my songs were unwelcome, but by this point I was accustomed to people telling me to shut up and determined to continue playing." Neil continued shaping his craft both formally (e.g. Los Angeles Music Academy) and informally before dedicating himself fully to personal investigation of his craft.