Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Head and The Heart

Sometimes you are given a taste of a band's potential through one song.  A taste of one song can make you believe that the entire album must be just as good as the first taste, but often this just doesn't happen- leaving you with an album of few songs that live up to the first taste.  So when I first became enamoured with The Head and The Heart's "Lost in My Mind" awhile ago, it felt as though it was such a special song there was no way possible the band could repeat such a feat on the rest of the tracks on the album.  Songs this beautiful only come along once in awhile- there is rarely an entire album of them.

I held off on listening to the entire album, not wanting to spoil my love affair with "Lost in My Mind."  Until recently, when I began to hear "Down in The Valley"- equally as special and equally as enamouring. So I finally took the plunge. Sometimes, you hear a bit of a band and it gives you hope they are actually going to be as awesome as you think they will be.  A lot of time this doesn't happen.  This time, it did.

Coming out of Seattle and finding their way into the indie mainstream by a devoted fan base, they solidified their place as a legitimate force by signing this year with Sub Pop Records, known for bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Shins and Fleet Foxes.  The sound is indie folk, but in an old fashioned 1950's/60's folk revival kind of way, with lyrics like: "I wish I was a slave to an age-old trade, like ridin around on railcars and workin long days", that take your mind to a nostalgic time and place.  Fans of bands like Iron and Wine, The Avett Bros, Mumford and Sons, or Gomez should take special notice.

A palmist determines fate by looking at two major lines on the palm- the head and the heart.  The two most driving forces in the human condition.  It seems an oversimplified thought that one could determine the themes in a band's songs based solely on the band name, but they deliver in this sense.  Each song is crafted to speak to each listener, with seemingly personal lyrics and nostalgic hooks and riffs.  From start to finish, this album is destined to satiate both streams of consciousness- the head and the heart.

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