Music Monday: The Head and the Heart

Another shoutout to Shazam for helping me find this new band (for me).

While I was out one day I heard a song playing, and thanks to the magic of Shazam, I discovered that the song was Lost in My Mind, by the band The Head and the Heart.

I had never heard of them, but after doing some web searching, I found out about them a bit.

Here is some background, from Wikipedia:

The Head and the Heart is an American indie folk band. They were formed in the summer of 2009 by Josiah Johnson (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Jonathan Russell (vocals, guitar, percussion). The band also includes Charity Rose Thielen (violin, guitar, vocals), Chris Zasche (bass), Kenny Hensley (piano), and Tyler Williams (drums). The band is signed to Warner Bros. Records and have released four albums. Their fifth studio album, Every Shade of Blue, is scheduled to be released April 29, 2022.

I love how the band came up with its name:

Johnson explained how the name of the band was chosen: “Your head is telling you to be stable and find a good job, you know in your heart that this [the band] is what you’re supposed to do even if it’s crazy.”

Early on, the band had a chance to tour with some prominent names:

The band toured extensively through 2010 and 2011 in both the United States and Europe, and opened for Vampire Weekend, The Walkmen, Dr. Dog, Dave Matthews, The Low Anthem, The Decemberists, Iron & Wine, My Morning Jacket, and Death Cab For Cutie, as well as headlining their own shows. In March 2011, Seattle’s City Arts Magazine named them “Seattle’s Best New Band”, and the band made their network television debut on April 21, 2011 on Conan. The album reached the Billboard 200 Album Charts at #110 and the record stayed on the chart for ten weeks.

The band’s second album Let’s Be Still was released on October 15, 2013, and on November 2, 2013, Let’s Be Still reached number 10 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Their music has also been featured prominently in a variety of TV shows and in a few films.

I’ve spent the past hour or so listening to a variety of their songs, and my favorite is Down in the Valley.

Here is how one reviewer described it:

It opens with soft guitar picking and the rasp of the lead singer’s voice; then a fiddle beckons like the promise of a warm embrace. Before you know it, soaring harmonies, a relentless drumbeat, and driving piano chords push you forward like a rushing river in the thaw of spring. 

I wish I could write like that…

I think what really appealed to me as I watched the video is that it reminded me of one of my sons who had a chance to go on tour with a band as the video guy. The life of an indie band is not an easy one; you are all crammed into a van, sleep in cheap hotels, do all of your own loading and unloading, you are playing in less than ideal music venues, like school auditoriums and old movie theaters, and you never know how many people are going to show up.

But you do it because you believe in yourself and in your music. I wish The Heart and the Head the best of luck and continued success. I am looking forward to their new album.

*image from Kate Wolf Music Festival

151 thoughts on “Music Monday: The Head and the Heart

  1. I like their cool, mellow sound.

    I once thought it would be a lot of fun to be an entertainer who lived on the road. But now that I’m older I’m glad that dream never came true. I imagine the road life must get to be a real drag after awhile.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I would get tired of road life! Brad wanted to be a musician but he has said the same thing about being on the road all the time. Not ideal when raising a family especially. He has thought about getting with a local band and drumming away sometimes for fun, but haven’t found any yet.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Heh-heh. In all seriousness, this was a strong subject for me (in high school). I still do double-entry bookkeeping, tracking my personal finances. I know, I’m a nerd.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. it would be tough to be traveling on the road with a family. I hope Brad finds a band to play with; those guys always seem to have so much fun. And I have heard that drummers are usually the toughest ones to find…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I think it would be fun to do one cross country trip as an entertainer. To be up on stage and have people applauding you seems like it would be a big ego boost. And I’m guessing that by the time I would be finished, I would have reached my limit of living on the road…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My son did go on the tour, it was across the entire U.S., as well as England. He made a documentary from the trip. He took a semester off from college to go on the tour, and never went back! He’s been working as an independent video editor/creator for the past 18 years…

        a great example that not everyone needs to go to college…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Wow, that’s great for your son. He sounds like a real go-getter.

        I think college can easily be more expensive than it’s worth, especially for those with an entrepreneurial mindset. For them it can be a waste of both time and dollars.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. my son has managed to support himself for the past 15 plus years. He lived in Hawaii for several years, and last year he moved to Austin and loves it there… so a little bit closer!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Good music. A new band to me as well. Will have to play this for Brad and see if he has heard them before. It can be really hard for a music group in starting out, for there is a lot of tough competition!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never heard the sound or the band. It’s a pretty good sound, but I like the video even more as it gives us a good taste of life on the road. One can see how they have to find the energy for another gig, yet as the time draws nearer, we can see their energy rise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. well said, Pete. that is the sense I got from watching the video. There might be a lot of mundane work involved in touring, but when you get up on stage you forget all that and you are re-energized once again…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i knew them from ‘lost in my mind’ and it was one of the bands that was recommended by youtube when i discovered and started loving the avett brothers and other bands in that arena. love this video, the music and the story, it shows what it’s like on the road, and not glam but what you have the need to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny that you mentioned the Avett Brothers, since that was who they reminded me of.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the video, it really does tell a story of life on the road…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. They are great, aren’t they! I have all of their albums in my Apple Music library, including the pre-release of the upcoming one. They haven’t done a thing in the UK charts, which disappoints me. Something of a Lumineers feel about them, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dang! I thought I had found one you weren’t familiar with. I even checked your web site, and I never found them mentioned.

      But I guess I should have known.

      They remind me a bit of the Avett Brothers…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are many in my Apple Music library that I haven’t played on the blog: so much music, so little time 😉

        They remind me of the Avetts too. I found both from YouTube recommendations – the algorithm sometimes does its job well…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No pressure, then…

        Sometimes the recommendations make me think that someone has hacked their computer, but many of the acts I’ve featured have come from them. Worth a look, I’d have thought, if you watch enough on there to give them something to work with…

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I could use a little more guitar. I kind of like the Paper Kites which are kind of in this genre. I have seen them in concert with my daughter twice now and if they ever make it out of Australia again, we may see them again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. thanks for the tip on the Paper Kites. I just listened to Bloom (I picked that one because it had the most views on YouTube). Quite nice. I see what you mean by the guitar. Nice harmonies as well…


      3. I can see why you liked Give Me Your Fire – some nice video work with beautiful shots of a city at night. And I watched a live performance of When It Hurts – also very nice…

        Liked by 1 person

  6. This band has a great sound. I wouldn’t feel too sorry for them. If they have had albums that charted as high as 10 and have had their music in TV shows and films, my guess is they aren’t doing too badly moneywise. Road life must be hard though. I bet getting on each others nerves on the road causes band break ups as much as artistic differences.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope they are doing ok, but I view it as a good thing that they are coming with a new album next month. So something must be working…

      and I am sure you get to know each other very well when touring across the country, and there will likely be some disagreements, but that’s all part of the process of accepting each other…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think a new album means their company has faith in them to make money which is a very good thing. There is a financial incentive to get along in a band but people are people. Speaking for myself, being away from family and friends and spending most of my time with professional colleagues would get old fast even if a lot of money was involved. Hat tip to those who pull it off.

        Liked by 1 person

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