The Head and the Heart’s new EP is a “missed connection” with their fans


Seattle Indie-Rock band, The Head and the Heart, recently released an EP, consisting of three songs.  The EP is a preview of their upcoming album, “Living Mirage”. The Head and the Heart was once known for their meaningful lyrics and folk-acoustic melodies, that captured the minds and hearts of their fan base. These sorrowful, while uplifting melodies can be seen within their first two albums “These Days are Numbered” and “The Head and the Heart.” However, the bands has changed their genre, to have more of a pop sound. Although the meaningful lyrics remain, they are washed out with obscure rhythms and a lack of acoustics, that causes their music to sound like anything that can be heard on the top 100 charts.

The opening song “Missed Connection,” tells that narrative of what lead singer, Jonathan Russell, describes the early years of the band as a, “collections of beautiful accidents” Russell stated in a Rolling Stones interview. With its upbeat melody and high use of bass and drums, and a very simple piano chord, the band successfully describes the narrative they intended listers to find. “This is the story of what life and love can become when you follow the signs of the universe,” Russell stated. Throughout the song, it repeats the lines “don’t tell me I‘ve lost a step, crisscrossed in the work direction,” describing the feeling of doubt and discourage they felt in the early years.But in the end, he apprehended that these “missed connections” lead to the success of their band. However, the bands hopeful narrative is quickly washed away by its distracting pop instrumentals.

Following is two versions of the same song entitled, “Honeybee.” One consists of its original score, while the second version is“stripped” from its background extra beats. The first version is similar to the first song of the EP, while the unplugged version sounds like many of the songs off of their previous albums. Songwriter, Charity Thielen stated, “ ‘Honeybee’ really captures the idea of living the end of your life with some regret – realizing you have been living a life complacent with the familiar.” with the release of the song. The chorus of the song repeats the lines, “But here we are, after all the misses and confessions, to the scars, that we never really owned as ours.” Although the two songs consists of the same lyrics, there is a significance difference between them.The original song sounds like a generic, pop song with auto tuned vocals. But in the unplugged versions, the band goes back to its roots, with authentic vocals and acoustic instrumentals. Although it is clear the Head and the Heart is going towards a different direction with their music, their lyrics still give their fans the same feeling.

It is true that pop is a great genre, that has many superb artists and songs. However, when fans fell in love with music from the Head and the Heart, they did not necessarily fall in love with their new pop agenda. Even though the band proclaims that this is the hardest they’ve ever worked on an album, this does not reflect to the fans. The auto tuned vocals and heavy pop rhythms, lead to their fans to question the album. Most fans gravitate towards the unplugged versions of their new songs, because it sounds more like the roots of the Head and the Heart.