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Saturday, 26 October 2013 10:55

Charting the Music: The Head and the Heart, 'Let's Be Still'

Charting the Music: The Head and the Heart, 'Let's Be Still'
Written by Travis Dettmann
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As autumn settles itself in comfortably, "Let's Be Still" provides that last bit of summer warmth. Let the Head and the Heart ease the transition.

Formed just four years ago, the Head and the Heart is now on its sophomore effort with no intention of hanging up its instruments. Even with the current indie-folk craze, "Let's Be Still" rises above the lot of it, supplying 13 escape routes worth more than a listen or two.

88.1 KDHX chart position: #2 Adult Album Alternative and #3 CMJ Top 30 for the week of October 22, 2013.

Record label, release date and producer: Sub Pop Records released "Let's Be Still" on October 15, 2013; it was produced by the Head and the Heart and Shawn Simmons.

Can be heard on: Feel Like Going Home with Roy Kasten, Juxtaposition with Rob Levy and Bittersweet Melody with Allen Dahm.

RIYL: The Avett Brothers, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and the Lumineers.

Hometown: Seattle, Wa.

Standout tracks: Introducing "Let's Be Still," the track "Homecoming Heroes" praises nonconformity when all is backwards. From the constant kick to heavy piano, the single "Shake" will have you doing just that. Violinist and singer Charity Rose Thielen takes the lead on one of the catchiest tracks, affirming all she'll do in the name of "Summertime."

About the band: The Head and the Heart is the result of a few open mic nights at a Seattle pub in 2009. The group self-released its self-titled debut DIY style, ultimately selling more copies than it could produce. In November 2010, Sub Pop took the act under its wing, releasing an extended and remastered version of the debut on April 19, 2011. THATH has toured with the likes of the Decemberists, Death Cab for Cutie and Vampire Weekend. The band performed on TBS' "Conan" as well as on NBC's "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon."

Play it while: Gaining clarity and purpose on a cross-country train trip.

Awards and accolades: The Head and the Heart's debut peaked at no. 2 and no. 1 on the "Billboard Top Heatseekers" in 2010 and 2012 respectively. In 2011, the single "Lost in My Mind" hit no. 24 on the "Rock Songs" chart. In March that same year, they were polled "Best New Band" by Seattle's City Arts Magazine.

What the critics say: "On their newest album, the Head and the Heart have clearly avoided the sophomore slump. Instead, on 'Let's Be Still,' they have embodied their essence in song. Their music is about expressing emotion in its purest, most human form. They effortlessly work their way into the hearts of listeners, proving that the band isn't leaving anytime soon." Sid Gopinath, The Duke Chronicle.

KDHX coverage: Robin Wheeler reviewed while Ben Mudd photographed the Head and the Heart's most recent performance at the Pageant on October 22, 2013. Nathan Brand interviewed Charity Rose Thielen about touring and the band's newest effort. "Shake" was featured as 88.1 KDHX's "Song of the Day" for September 16, 2013. The Head and the Heart stopped by KDHX for an in-studio, trio performance on June 13, 2011.

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