Recently I’ve been in a music funk. These funks are often filled with music I’m nearly bored to death with like Modest Mouse back when Isaac Brock was still on drugs making quality music. (Although I do not support artists on drugs, let’s be honest, it worked for Modest Mouse).
For the past few months I hadn’t listen to anything that sparked my interest or made me nostalgic, giving me some inherent feeling, filling my heart up like a 6-year-old on Christmas. These are the feelings I hope for when I’m listening to new music, but if it doesn’t happen, then I know the band or artist isn’t worth my obsession.
It wasn’t until I was bombarded with the trailer for Silver Linings Playbook from hours of Hulu that I heard The Head and the Heart playing “Lost in my Mind” tastefully in the background. I immediately had to know who this band was and begin my research on what I knew was something special. If you aren’t so lucky to know who these guys are, I’m going to tell you.
The band first began playing together in 2009 at Conor Byrne’s open mic night in Seattle. The two core members Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russell began writing music together, shortly after bringing keyboardist Kenny Hensley into the mix. Their violinist, Charity Rose Thielen, came back to Seattle after studying and playing music in Paris, joining the band as well.
Russell, originally from Virginia, sent his buddy a demo the group made to Tyler Williams, their now drummer, who left Prabir and The Substitutes in Richmond to join The Head and the Heart. Finally, the bartender at Conor Byrnes, Chris Zasche offered his services as a bassist and thus the band was in full swing.
In early 2010 the band finally began recording music and within weeks selling burned copies of their recorded songs. Soon enough the band had become a favorite around the local scene and became one of the top 10 records at Easy Street and the number one album of 2010 at Sonic Boom. Their buzz really began to spread down the west coast once they were signed to Sub Pop Records.
Their live performances have been raved about as the humble band accepted any show offered to them. They played in backyards, coffee shops, open mics and even high school classrooms. Most recently on Nov. 1, they performed at President Barack Obama’s grassroots benefits in Boulder, Colo.
I couldn’t be more surprised that people often brag about their live performances. Their recorded album is amazing in its own, yet nothing really compares to watching the band perform for Cardinal Sessions live in a park in Cologne, which is a beautiful spectacle. I’m sure if I was ever lucky enough to watch the band perform in person I might cry over their three-piece harmonies, which admittedly are not perfect, yet they are raw and uninhibited, making it far more emotional and real.
Please enjoy my favorite song from their self-titled album, “Honey Come Home” via Cardinal Session that is sure to make you fall in love with The Head and The Heart.
Mian Hickler is an English student who has recently moved back to Tempe, AZ from DC. She enjoys finding new music, making her own clothes, reading Frank O’Hara poetry and drinking cappuccinos.