We’ve raved about The Head and the Heart before and we’ll continue to do so as long as they keep putting out solid albums. It’s been three years since their sophomore album Let’s Be Still came out and in that time, they’ve been across the globe and back, making quite a few stops in the Bay Area.
They'll be back at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley on Saturday, October 8th.
This week — Friday September 9th to be exact — they’ll be releasing their third album, the highly anticipated Signs of Light. We’ve had the pleasure of listening to the album for the past few weeks and are wildly impressed. The album is a step forward for the band, moving into bigger sounding songs; there’s a lot more going on here. On their debut album, our favorite songs were simple — acoustic guitar, piano, a little bit of the keys and the wonderful Charity on her violin. “Down in the Valley” and “Rivers and Roads” both embody this simplicity.
Signs of Light adds new dimension to their sound. The songs feel more full; there’s more to catch your ear. From the beginning to the end, the album doesn’t disappoint. In “I Don’t Mind,” lead singer Jon Russell pushes his vocals like rarely done before in their earlier works. “Oh My Dear” starts with a slow electric guitar that reminds me of when Mumford & Sons picked up electric guitars for their third album — though that’s about the only comparison to M&S I’ll give The Head and the Heart.
Our only complaint? At live shows over the last few years, Jon has been doing a solo acoustic encore of the beautiful melody “Your Mother’s Eyes.” On the album, the full band is present, instruments and all. Don’t get us wrong, it’s sonically gorgeous, but it doesn’t give us the chills the way it did when Jon sang it solo live.
What does give us chills is the title track, the last song on the album, “Signs of Light.” If that doesn’t give you the feels or bring water your eyes, you probably need to take a deep breath and listen a little closer.
With the new album brings an unexpected new challenge; vocalist and guitarist Josiah Johnson is absent from this tour. His hiatus was announced in May 2016 as he battles with addiction. We’re curious to see how his temporary-replacement holds up on songs that relied on Josiah’s vocals.
For now, we’ll be counting down the days until the show. There are still a few tickets left, but if their past performances are any indication, this will will sell out for sure. You won’t want to miss this. Catch them in Berkeley on Saturday, October 8th. Tickets here: http://www.ticketmaster.com/the-head-and-the-heart-berkeley-california-10-08-2016/event/1C0050A2A5A932BF
Photo: Sam Engel // Senior Staff