By Claire Dunham, Staff Writer
Artist: The Head and the Heart
Album: Every Shade of Blue
Favorite Songs: "Every Shade of Blue," "Love Me Still," and "GTFU"
For Fans Of: The Lumineers, Dawes, and Lord Huron
After almost three years, The Head and the Heart are back with a new album. The indie-folk band, best known for their warm acoustic songs like “Rivers and Roads” and “Another Story,” emerged from Seattle in the early 2010s. In the years following, they have released five albums, toured with legendary musicians like Dave Matthews and Vampire Weekend, played at iconic music festivals like Coachella, and signed to Warner Bros Records.
A lot has changed since the release of their last album Living Mirage in 2019, but one thing has stayed the same: the band’s flair for intimate lyrics. Every Shade of Blue is a cathartic depiction of life’s changes. The album redefines The Head and the Heart as musicians, but also as transformed people.
The opening track, “Every Shade of Blue,” is indicative of the album’s full and resonant sound. Melodic violins give way to the rhythmic sound of acoustic guitar and drums. Additionally, songs like “Love We Make” and “Shut Up” feature noteworthy harmonies from the group's vocalists Charity Rose Thielen and Jonathan Russell.
Throughout the years, Thielen’s solos have been especially praised by fans. The beloved singer takes center stage on “Shadows,” a track that highlights Thielen’s powerful tone and range. A heavenly sound is born when Thielen’s singing is paired with echoing background vocalizations. Overall, the vocals on Every Shade of Blue are particularly evocative.
THE HEAD AND THE HEART REDEFINED
On their Instagram, the band has solidified their deep emotional attachment to Every Shade of Blue. In one caption they described the album, saying, “It is a record that tries its best to reconcile who we once were with who we are now and hope one day to become.” The album effectively reintroduces fans to the introspective lyrics of The Head and the Heart.
On “Virginia (Wind in the Night),” the band reflects on their past in order to move forward. Russell and fellow band member Tyler Williams discuss their hometown of Richmond, Virginia in the song’s lyrics. With lines like “Virginia don't feel like she used to, but I can feel her heart beating for me, baby,” The Head and the Heart reflect on the beauty of change and growth.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
Every Shade of Blue concludes with “GTFU,” an all-encompassing anthem whose lyrics address the existentialism of the future.
The band repeats the line, “This is not the way this story has to end,” as electric guitars emulate the sounds of classic rock and a steady drumbeat marches on. The track's essence mirrors the legendary hit “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas.
"GTFU" ends on the same repeated lyric “This is not the way this story has to end,” proving The Head the Heart are prepared to transform their future.
Every Shade of Blue is an influential album. Its lyrics are filled with love, and its sound is the perfect blend of rock, folk, and pop influences.