band of the moment: the head and the heart

profiled by npr as one of the “5 artists you should have known in 2010?” CHECK.

opened for vampire weekend 2 months after the release of a debut album? CHECK.

heeds from the pacific northwest, a breeding ground for a fresh, simple sound that’s also rich and decadent? CHECK.

these guys might be my favorite discovery of the year. and just in time for my best of 2010 list!

my, my aren’t they an attractive bunch! the head and the heart (thath) is a seattle-based sextet that’s drawing comparisons to fleet foxes, the avett brothers and elo. i’d like to call that genre, urban/rural…or any juxtaposition of old vs. new.

they’re known for being refreshingly low maintenance (even as of october, they were each only living off $10/day while touring), clinging to the stereotype of “starving artists,” people who have given up their day jobs to wholeheartedly pursue their musical endeavors full-time.

everything about thath is, in a word, moderate. everything is just enough. nothing is over the top or unnecessary. every harmony and every accompanying instrument serves a purpose, which is a difficult thing to accomplish with 6 members. and i love that they don’t stay within the traditional confines of folk. their songs are tinged with power pop-y piano and gospel-like harmonies.

here’s “down in the valley.” my first instinct was blind pilot, but now it’s really starting to remind me of ryan adam’s “my winding wheel” or “pearls on a string.”

and my favorite, “sounds like hallelujah,” a journey through several different parts. this guy kinda sounds like david gray, no?

and my second fav, a more upbeat tune, “cats and dogs.” at times, it sounds like andrew bird  jumped in on vocals…

 

 

 

 

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~ by CJL on December 3, 2010.

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