GORHAM — GoldenOak is driven by the songwriting and harmonies of the brother-sister duo, Zak and Lena Kendall, who will be performing live at the Medallion Opera House on Friday, August 23, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $12 at the Gorham Town Hall, White Mountain Café and online at www.medallionoperahouse.com. Tickets will also be available at the door for $20.00. The concert is being sponsored by the Mount Washington Auto Road.

When you think of trendy musical scenes, Portland, Maine might not be first on your list. Yet the homespun, heartwarming music of family-oriented indie folk group GoldenOak provides evidence that the dense woods of the Pine Tree State might just be a better muse than the slick streets of New York and LA.

After a bit of a recording hiatus and a shift in personnel, the group is back with an enchanting pair of songs. “River” and “Poet and The Painter” find this collective simultaneously building on previous strengths while also striking out in an interesting new direction.

Zak Kendall explains that he and his sister had a heart-to-heart about how the band should sound once some intra-band changes took place. “With the original lineup, we were very much a four-piece group. Everybody had similar roles in the band and there was not really much of a lead, per se. As the band evolved and those two bandmates left, Lena and I kind of sat down and said, ‘What we were doing is changing up, but what’s staying the same is our relationship to each other, our musical journey as siblings.’ I think with this music we’ve kind of settled into that role. We’ve learned to really understand and work with each other, write together more, bounce ideas off each other.”

The pair leaned into the family-oriented dynamic when they dove into the new material, recorded at Rustic Studios in Portland. “The new stuff is built around that relationship and particularly our vocals and our harmonies,” Zak says. “Like on ‘Poet and The Painter’, there’s no lead vocals on it. It’s us singing harmonies the whole time, kind of like Simon & Garfunkel’s early stuff. When I wrote ‘River’, I said to Lena, “I’m writing this song, but I want you to sing it.” That was the first time that I had written lyrics for Lena to sing. And so it really became the closest to a partnership that it’s ever been for us. We were really working closely together on this new stuff.”

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