Seattle has been heavily associated with quality music exports for the best part of thirty-forty years. The Head and The Heart do the city’s reputation no harm at all. However they’re not the in the same style of Pearl Jam, Soundgarden or Nirvana. The six-piece outfit is closer to a cross between Death Cab For Cutie and Keane.

Having released their debut self-titled album through Sub Pop in 2011, the band made their first visit to our shores in early 2012 whilst supporting fellow Americans; Grouplove. Fast forward two years and they’ve just offered up their sophomore release in Let’s Be Still.

Whilst their debut was an enchanting and inviting record in its own right, it feels like the band have grown immensely and really carved out a distinct sound of their own on album number two. Their melodies and subtly synth-infused piano/folk rock has gotten stronger and their songs more well defined.

‘Homecoming Heroes’ opens the album strongly with playful piano parts and violin work dovetailing each other spiritedly while joint lead singers Josiah Johnson and Jonathon Russell sing triumphantly, ‘and I won’t stand for anything more’. The song is so enjoyable and positive that it really instils in you a sense of optimism for how good the album will be, and just optimism in general that stays with you long after the thirteen tracks have ceased playing.

‘Another Story’ is a delightful track that again showcases how well the band take advantage of having two male singers who can sing so well together that you can't tell it's different people. When both singers join together it sounds like one person who’s sung the same vocal part again and layered it in post-production.

‘Summertime’ is violinist and sometimes singer Charity Roe Thielen’s time to shine. Here she shoulders the entire vocal responsibility of the song and does it impeccably by showing off her range and allowing endearing quirks in her voice to shine through.

‘Josh McBride’ is another song that must be checked out if you want to listen to just snippets of a few songs to see if you want to purchase the album. It’s stripped back and showcases male and female vocals working harmoniously together.

‘Shake’ brings the pace and full instrumentation back to the record, making for one of the more fuller feeling songs on the disc. While yes, there are a few highlights on the album, it is extremely consistent and has quality right the way through, making it one that should make the cut every time you wipe your iPod/smartphone's music and refill it.

The Head and The Heart have improved on their debut with this second release and done their own reputation a favour. So much so this album was digital music station; Dig Music’s first feature album when it relaunched aimed at a slightly older demographic recently. This record is lovingly crafted and full of subtle delights and harmonies.
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