The Head & The Heart In Philly

The Head & The Heart have been a slight obsession as of late. I initially heard them earlier this summer but it wasn’t until these last few months, as I have fallen back into my rabid music listening ways, that TH&TH began to resonate with me. So, I was delighted to find out they were coming through Philly as part of the Philly Film and Music Festival. 

It seemed fitting to be seeing the Seattle six piece on an outdoor stage in the backyard of the Ukrainian Club – which I must say is a secret treasure tucked away in Northern Liberties – amongst food trucks and folks lounging on blankets. From the very top of their set it was apparent the group is at it’s core a jam band with the taut vocal harmonies of a folk group and the stage sensibilities of a indie rock group. Each of the ten tracks off of their recent self-titled release has a strong draw but when performed live you get a true grasp on the group’s soul as it’s infuses the performance. These six clearly enjoy the pieces crafted for them by Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russel and the energy this releases was palpable from the audience.  ”Ghosts” rolled out with a jazzy bounce with Kenny Hensley’s keys pushing it right along and Tyler Williams’ drums popped in the back. In fact, I admit that I hadn’t really noted the percussion from listening to the album but seeing them highlighted what the plucky and on point drummer brings tot he group.

The lone lady, Charity Rose Thielan  was a real delight on the stage – her violin lines added a brilliance to songs like “Sounds Like Hallelujah” and were particularly awesome when she played them almost as vocal lines and not instrumental, standing toe-to-toe with Johnson and Russell’s lead vox. But it is when she takes to the mic for the leads as on “Rivers & Roads,” and her distinct voice is given room to shine, that you realize she is no one trick pony. I’d love to see her sing more lead in the future.

There were a few moments when I felt they got a little too comfortable with the harmonies and lost the depth and dynamism becoming slightly muddled. It was mostly during the start of the set but as they continued they kept picking up steam and the richness of their offerings were readily apparent. This is one group I will happily see again.

[MP3] Lost In My Mind

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