The Head and the Heart Plays Northampton

Photo courtesy of The Head and the Heart
Photo courtesy of The Head and the Heart

Signs of Light

Seattle indie folk band The Head and the Heart formed in 2009, and their third album Signs of Light, released this past fall, captures a radio-friendly pop rhythm that Rolling Stone described as “cozy and stylish at the same time.”

That album was hard-won. In 2014, exhausted from four years of touring, the six band members parted ways for a while and scattered across the world to pursue individual projects, camp, volunteer, and songwrite solo. “I saw it as an opportunity to touch base again — to listen to what other people were saying and what they were going through,” says vocalist and guitarist Jonathan Russell, who traveled to Haiti and worked with the non-profit Artists For Peace And Justice. “I really wanted to make sure that I reconnected with a world that was starting to feel farther and farther away.”

The Head And The Heart regrouped last summer in California to start writing together again. “It almost felt like we were a new band, trying things we hadn’t tried,” says bassist Chris Zasche. “We stayed at a bungalow on the beach. We’d wake up, have coffee and go boogie boarding. We were ready and excited to be back together.”

Tough living, we’re sure. But if these six can find time to indulge in extended sun-soaking sessions, perhaps New Englanders can spare an evening to come out and absorb some of that warmth. The band will play a Tuesday night concert at Smith College that focuses mainly on Signs of Light, which was recorded in Nashville with producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church, Cage The Elephant). On that upbeat new album, the band explains, “the colors are brighter, the electric guitars are louder and the musical touchstones more universal.”

The Head and the Heart: With Mt. Joy. Tuesday, March 7, 8 p.m. $40.50. John M. Greene Hall, 60 Elm St., Smith College, Northampton.

— Hunter Styles,

Hunter Styles

Author: Hunter Styles

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