Throughout much of their latest record, Signs of Light, The Head and The Heart’s music holds a glow that can’t quite be contained. Clinging to their melodies like ivy, it spills into their arrangements beautifully, boiling over like water until it spreads out enough to touch every inch of its surroundings. Pursuing a route that can make their song structures feel largely unpredictable, chiming guitars and foot-stomping tempos speed up and slow down, adding to a freewheeling, loose atmosphere that bristles with the type of in-the-moment energy that can be difficult to capture on a studio album. Together since forming in Seattle in 2009, the longtime band stacks each song with nuance and intricacy, reinforcing a musical complexity and prowess with so many moving parts that each listen seems to unlock some other hidden gem. And while some groups suffer the fate of falling into creative comfort zones and familiar patterns, The Head and The Heart have followed up their previous work- 2010’s The Head and The Heart and 2013’s Let’s Be Still– with a third full-length record that feels risky and new.
Springing to life with gorgeous harmony, lead single and album opener “All We Ever Knew,” sets the tone for a record that feels vivid and brisk. Boasting smooth as glass vocals and a hearty, booming chorus, the track resonates with a lyrical sincerity that is deeply ingrained in their music. Songs like “Rhythm and Blues” and “Library Magic” feel especially gripping, although its “Colors” and the one-two-punch of “Oh My Dear” and “I Don’t Mind” that will leave you certain that this band’s isolated tracks alone may be more compelling than most of modern radio. But what might stand as their most stirring, bare bones offering amidst a track listing full of folk pop pillars is the records closing song, “Signs of Light.” Clocking in at a little over six minutes, its starts out sparse, sad and sweet before building towards a stunning finale that will stay with you.
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Article: Caitlin Phillips