Review: Head and the Heart Hulk Up on Major Label Debut 'Signs...

Review: Head and the Heart Hulk Up on Major Label Debut 'Signs of Light'

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Review: Head and the Heart Hulk Up on Major Label Debut 'Signs of Light' news

Credit: James Minchin

Seattle folk-rock artisans the Head and the Heart have always been admirably honest about their rustic notions of musicality, celebrating uncluttered craft, homey detail and vérité revelation. You can still hear it on their third LP – "drawn to that sorta library magic," they sing beautifully over an acoustic weave. Yet Signs of Light also sees them beef up their sound with sweeping rock guitars and radio-aware production that can sometimes feel overblown (see the Mumford-size stomp of the title track). Things work better when they balance the impulse to hulk things up with their natural traditionalist intimacy; on "Take a Walk," stately jangle backs vocalist Jon Russell's lyrics about processing relationship stress in real time, and the drolly sweet "False Alarm" could be a mountain-scented lost track from Fleetwood Mac's Mirage – a throwback that feels cozy and stylish at the same time. 

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