Turning 'heads' with 'heart'
Indie rock group The Head and the Heart has achieved tremendous momentum since forming in 2009. The band has opened for notables like Dr. Dog, Vampire Weekend and Charlottesville’s own Dave Matthews Band — all artists the Seattle-based band cites as inspiration. The band has accumulated enough fans to now have headlines of its own, and, with the release of another album last week, the group’s acclaim can only rise.
Although the group’s first, self-titled album received mild play on television shows and made it to No. 3 on “Billboard Folk Albums,” its name remains unknown to the bulk of the populace. But this latest effort, “Let’s Be Still,” offers the group its best chance yet to expand its audience.
Unlike its predecessor, which prominently displays the group’s vocal talents with only modest instrumentals to accent the lyrics, “Let’s Be Still” allows the band’s musical talent to shine through. This more developed effort promises to keep old fans while also attracting new ones.
Fast-paced songs like “Shake” and “My Friends” are juxtaposed with the more subdued “Josh McBride.” Each track carries as different feel, as the instrument composition of each differs — throughout the album, an acoustic guitar, piano, violin and drums provide the harmony for a male or female singer.
The band says this album was more carefully constructed than its first, an effort which is evident in “Shake” and “Another Story.” Thematically, however, the tracks carry much of the same lyrical themes of loneliness and uncertainty from the first album.
Whereas the first album explored the members’ hopes of musical stardom, the band says on its website that the second release reflects on the changes and sacrifices they’ve endured in pursuit of that fame. “The world’s just spinning/ a little too fast/ if things don’t slow down soon, we might not last/ so just for the moment, let’s be still,” the singer laments in the album’s title track, reflecting on the fast pace of a touring musician’s life.