#3- THE HEAD AND THE HEART: "Let's Be Still"
Coming in at number 3...and one that would have probably scored in at number two, had it not been for 15 seconds of pain and suffering in the middle of track number 4... is the sophomore effort by Seattle's THE HEAD AND THE HEART.
I would say that The Head And The Heart burst onto the music scene in 2011, but the reality is that they crept into our collective conscience and quickly became the darlings of the Indie Rock scene... especially that with a more Folk influence. Truth be told, The Head And The Heart pay respect to early American music better than many of their peers. This album sounds modern, while occasionally straying into early 20th century Americana music, that of which hailed from the Appalachian region of the United States. There is banjo, acoustic guitars, mandolin, violin and harmonies up the wazoo. This album was probably my most highly anticipated release of 2013 (it hit shelves in October of that year) and did not fall short of my expectations.... except for that fifteen seconds of "Summertime" that hurt my soul to the very core.
I know, by this point, several of you are probably wondering exactly what I am talking about... curious about what could pain me so much... and others of you (a portion of those that have heard the song) are probably nodding your heads in agreement.
From a positive light, I admire bands like The Head And The Heart. I admire how they can find talented musicians with the same cause, create a work of art (their first album, which was initially sold at shows on self-burned CDs) and tour their collective asses off in support of it. It says something when a band can have labels clamoring for them, based solely on a self-released album. Seattle's Sub-Pop were the lucky label to land these lads (and lass), serving as the perfect home for what promised to be one of their more successful acts.
This band has had major exposure (late night talk shows, Austin City Limits, etc.) and continue, to this day, to work their collective keisters off (they played Salt Lake City and surrounding areas twice this past year) and have yet to show any signs of stopping. It's good to know that those of us who are big fans of their label mates', Fleet Foxes, still have something to enjoy while Robin Pecknold and Co. (do we even know who 'Co.' is anymore?) regroup and move ahead with the future.
I, myself, look forward to what comes next in the story of THE HEAD AND THE HEART... as long as it steers clear of the shrill suffering found amid an otherwise decent track four of THIS album.
So... for those of you new to The Head And The Heart, take a few moments to listen to the Folk stylings of one of Seattle's greatest bands...
"ANOTHER STORY" (Official Lyric Video)
"LET'S BE STILL" (Official Video)
Live at KEXP (Full Performance)*
*if you watch nothing else, watch this...