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The Head and The Heart stopped in the studio to sweep us with their beautiful acoustic set. The band seemed as giddy as everyone at the station for the upcoming Newport Folk Festival weekend, pushing through their songs with a high summer energy. Having some vigorous touring schedules and working on some new songs, the festival is taken as a special opportunity to show how they have matured as a band. Charity Rose (violin/vocals) will also take an opportunity for collaboration this year. She shared that she will cover an Everly Brothers song with Sarah Watkins at the festival. Seeing the passion and pure excitement that The Head and The Heart displayed in the WERS studio, Newport has something coming this weekend.
Three members of the band (Jonathan Russell, Charity Rose, and Josiah Johnson) sat down to share some of their storytelling folk bliss. To start it all off, they played “Down In The Valley” where warm violin and complimenting guitars chimed in. Even though most of us have probably worn our copies of the debut self-titled album, it felt new to hear it in such an intimate setting. As they moved on to “Ghosts” and “ Lost In My Mind”, the harmonies powered an uphill morale. Through the stories of weakness and vulnerabilities, there is a hope that rings in their collaboration.
The sound is just haunting, but it apparently does not come with all of the beauty. There is some hardship that comes to get to it all. Johnson explained how there are many little fights that lead up to the finalization of the songs. It causes for some bumps, with some members taking things personal, but they claw through it to do what they love. When the whole band, including the drummer, understands how they want to craft the lyrics and instrumentals as a package, it is hard to come to a conclusion.
Russell and Johnson are the two driving factors in the lyrics, though. Russell started his storytelling skills just through writing down theories. He didn’t really get into song writing until Johnson came along, “It was like a light bulb went off or something”, Russell explained. Likewise, Charity Rose’s natural vocal talent did not come up until she started playing in the band. She started as a violin player and was later asked to sing. It is hard to imagine her not bringing this talent to the table, seeing her ease in hitting those high harmonies in our studio.
The Head and The Heart are definitely something special with their soul and natural ability. Be sure to get your chance to experience it all this weekend at The Newport Folk Festival.