Head and the Heart came to my attention after I bought a ticket for Iron & Wine on their summer tour as soon as they came on sale. I usually like to at least be familiar with the openers I see when I go to a show. I was glad to find that they were label mates on very possibly the best record label in existence right now, Sub Pop Records, so I was pretty optimistic about it. Additionally, the album cover, a portrait of an adorable lady and a man in a sheep mask with a cigarette, pleasantly intrigued me. The opening track, Cats and Dogs, is a playful ballad that really had me feeling good about the album. It was like trying a new food and immediately thinking that you had been a fool for not claiming that you didn’t like it for years. except this is music, not food. Right?
Lost in My Mind starts with solo guitar and vocals and evolves into a wonderful foot-stompin’ and hand clapping folk song. One of my favorite elements of this song is the vocal harmonies that they lay down on it, and the “ooooh ooooooooohs” that serve as a bridge. The compositions of these songs, with their harmonic back up vocals, convinces me that they had played live or practiced a great deal before recording this album. That or they had a wonderful producer. Either way, its apparent that they’re skilled at their craft.
This album is such a wonderful collection of great indie folk songs, covering a broad range of emotions while staying true to their distinctive sound and vocal harmonies. I saw it written somewhere that they were being called “America’s answer to Mumford” which is a bold statement, and a large shoe to fill, but I’m confident that they’re up for the challenge. Similarly, I’m not too quick to group them into the anti-folk movement, simply because its almost a genre of their own. Soon, I will be saying of other bands, “They sound very “The Head and the Heart-ish”. Hopefully.
For fans of: Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes, Noah and the Whale, The Low Anthem
Lost in My Mind[audio http://www.archive.org/download/HeadAndTheHeart/06LostInMyMind.mp3]
Cats and Dogs[audio http://www.archive.org/download/HeadAndTheHeart/01CatsAndDogs.mp3]
Honey Come Home[audio http://www.archive.org/download/HeadAndTheHeart/05HoneyComeHome.mp3]
Winter Song[audio http://www.archive.org/download/HeadAndTheHeart/07WinterSong.mp3]
Sounds Like Hallelujah[audio http://www.archive.org/download/HeadAndTheHeart/08SoundsLikeHallelujah.mp3]
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