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let’s be still

9 Oct


Today’s Indie: Gone / The Head and the Heart

‘so don’t send me no postcards telling me you miss me / ’cause I’m trying here’

The Head and the Heart is streaming their full album, Let’s Be Still, on Rolling Stone this week before its release on Tuesday and accordingly I ended yesterday evening curled up in bed with a glass of red wine, giving it that critical first listen and my full attention. I smiled, I sighed, I cringed, but overall, I am very proud of my favorite Seattle sextet, and what they have accomplished with their sophomore effort.  While the buttered up pop debacle Summertime feels like a terribly poor use of Charity’s talents, the album is a flush with heart pullers and show stoppers, including last week’s TUATI feature, Another Story.

But the most telling song of how far the band has come on the new album is surprisingly not new at all, but rather something I first heard live at Coachella in the spring of 2012, the album’s final track, Gone. The song has progressed immensely since the initial version I took in in the desert sun, coming together in a calculated and remastered manner that shows THATH’s evolution as a band. From the detail of the gentle string plucks in its initial moments to Jonathan’s restraint ladden opening vocals giving way to a perfectly harmonized crescendo and all the way through the string and piano laced break to the tremble inducing finale, the finished version of Gone is a culmination of every band member at their best. I see great days ahead.  #indie


another story

2 Oct

Today’s Indie: Another Story / The Head and the Heart


‘I tell you one thing / we ain’t gonna change love / the sun still rises / even through the rain’

Hearing a great new song from a favorite band is like seeing a dear, dear friend you haven’t seen in forever… an encounter ripe with emotional stirrings, some mild heart palpitations, and ultimately the music surrounding you like an embrace. There is comfort in the familiarity and excitement for what is ahead.

The Head and the Heart have released their second single off of their upcoming sophomore album, Let’s Be Still, and it has all the signature components in it to make me feel like home: the strings, the poetry laced lyrics, the piano, the crooning, the crescendo… the heart. While I was left somewhat wanting from their first single Shake, this second glimpse into the record, met with the additional few new songs I heard at Outside Lands this year, have set my expectations excitedly (and probably impossibly) high for THATH. We have both come along a way since my first post on them (and first post ever) back in January 2011. Here is to many more. #indie


5 Aug


Today’s Indie: Shake / The Head and the Heart

‘you won’t forget the one who’s making you shake’

Drop everything – the first single for The Head and the Heart‘s sophomore album, Let’s Be Still, landed on the band’s homepage today. Initial impression: even with its snappy beat, Shake took a while to pull me in… the start feels very safe, very signature Head and the Heart, with a tap along sound and cheerful, carefree vocals. After their beloved debut, I guess if its not broken, why fix it? Once Charity’s songbird of a voice cut in and the harmonies started rolling through, layered on top of the building piano, I was hooked.

This is a great first taste to the highly anticipated release, due out October 15th. After seeing  my favorite Seattle sextet live almost ten times  I am starving for some new songs from the band that inspired me to start this blog in the first place. Hopefully we will get to hear this one at Outside Lands this Saturday afternoon!  #indie/tory

like christmas morning

9 May

I woke up to a Tweet this morning that The Head and the Heart had just shared another Chapel Sessions recording via the amazing, female driven blog from Colorado, Fuel/Friends. An impromptu Christmas morning! I could not be more pleased with what they recorded on this go. Here are my two favorites.

Today’s Indie: Gone / The Head and the Heart

‘take back your pictures / take back your letters / don’t send me no postcards telling me you miss me’

Gone is a wistful goose bump raiser live, and I have been trying to track down a recorded version of it since the band nailed it at Coachella this year. The song is signature THATH, with a woo-ing chorus, Jon’s soaring vocals, and the stirring up of longings you didn’t even know were buried in you. To call it sigh inducing would be putting it lightly.

Untitled / The Head and the Heart

‘but I remember days when money didn’t matter / I was building forts in swamps in the summer / and you were serving tea to the queen’

Untitled is another doozy, grabbing me in its first few lines and leaving me yearning for the simplicity of sleepovers on big trampolines in backyards under the stars and a life before commuting and Excel spreadsheets and heartache. There are some great harmonies here that I can’t wait to hear live met with beautiful rolling piano, and a riveting ending.  And I heard you say, look outside the sun is rising, every cloud in the sky gone. #indie / tory

lost in the sunrise

14 Oct

I saw Capital Cities and Charlie (wait what) kill it at Public Works last night, and am continuing my music streak with Treasure Island this weekend, while perhaps squeezing in JFK of MSTRKRFT on Saturday night mid festival for good measure. Plus a dear friend in town to visit, and a 26th birthday in the midst of it all. This is going to be a good life.

Today’s Emo: Lost in My Mind / The Head and the Heart

‘how’s that bricklaying comin’ / is your engine still runnin’ / is that bridge getting built / are your hands getting filled’

It has been too long since I have posted some THATH on TUATE, and as I gear up for their set on Sunday of Treasure Island, it only seems fitting to get another of their best embedded up in here and back in my ears.

This track was the group’s first single and has all of the classic Head and the Heart components I love– foot stomping tambourine and lively piano with steady builds and stirring harmonies– all bringing me to the present tense tinged with a bit of the past. I can’t wait to see that ‘OMFG where did these guys come from?!’ look on festival goers faces who breath this track in for the first time, and to sing along with everyone else. #emo

Today’s Untz: Watch the Sun Come Up / Example (Moam remix)

‘hey, good morning / watch the sun come up’

Drawing from the vault for a little guilty pleasure, feel good untz to make the full transition into this weekend. Tiesto’s 2009 Creamfields set has gotten me through some long runs along the Bay and some even longer conversations in my head during these runs. There is a turning point a little over an hour into his set where Tiesto slips from Delirium’s more somber Silence into the signature trickling piano of Example’s Watch the Sun and I always snap out of my thoughts, crack a smile, and get a second wind. I could do without Example’s actual rapping parts, but haven’t found a remix of the track without that I like as much as this Moam work T sampled. Happy Friday. #untz

heart list

29 Apr

The scene: Wednesday night at the Bottom of the Hill, my best friend, Blue Moons, and my favorite band. I showed up at doors, chilled for an hour, impatiently listened to the openers, and then lost myself for a couple hours in a mind blowingly amazing show. It was the first time The Head and the Heart has headlined in SF, and due to our strategic early arrival, I was pressed up front right, so close to the speakers that my legs shook with the bass, watching hands slide on strings and socked feet hop about on the stage while occasionally convincing myself I had locked eyes with the lead singers. The show sold out weeks ago, and they showed us why.

Before starting the last song Jon belted out that he was dying for a cigarette, so after last croon I booked it for the patio area, met the band, expressed my undying devotion, got snapshots, and found out that Charity is nice and shy and not in the least bit indie bitchy like I thought she might be. Then I bought too much merch, cabbed it home and went to sleep with a goofy grin, nestling into bed at one with guitar rifts still ringing in my ears. It is Wednesdays like these and the people I share them with that I will never forget when I am old and boring and thinking back when. These are the places I will always go.

Today’s Emo: Josh McBride / The Head and the Heart

‘darling this is when I met you / for the third time not the last / not the the last time we are learning / who we are and what we were’

This is a new song and it is meant for a campfire. Josh McBride (also known as Seat Beside Me) was one of several unreleased tracks performed, and it was really something – smooth harmonies, trickles on keys, steady strumming and heartfelt vocals. Most of the audience hadn’t heard it yet because they don’t stalk THATH the way I do, and there was that “oh wow” moment of hush when it ended, like people had just experienced something great for the first time and were soaking it in. And then epic applause.

The chorus of ‘you are in the seat beside me‘ makes me think of Death Cab’s Passenger Seat, and while it is unique in its own right, this song evokes similar sentiment– that peaceful comfort of companionship and conviction in who you have next to you at the end of the day. Or the want for that space to be filled. #emo

Today’s Untz: Lisztomania (Phoenix cover) / Edwin Van Cleef ft. Jane Hanely

‘these days it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes, it comes and goes’

I have been hungry for new Phoenix for some time now and thus forced to temporarily satiate myself with remixes. Luckily there is no lack of options. Classixx has a standout take on Lisztomania, and now UK DJ/producer Edwin Van Cleef has made a great go at it, twisting in female vocals from Jane Hanely to give one of the most remixed songs of the past few years new life.

This is the first I have heard of Mr. Cleef, and while I suggest he get a new stage name I will have to keep him on my radar because I want to dance to this. And dance and dance and dance. #untz

head and heart, naked and famous

14 Feb

I thought about doing a sappy Valentines Day post on the best untz and emo love songs of all time, but I am happy and tan and tired and jet lagged and not in the mindset to make such a sweeping selection of songs. Instead, I present two mellow tracks that have nothing to do with cupid but are definitely lovable. It is good to be home. ❤

Today’s Emo: Rivers and Roads / The Head and the Heart

been talking ’bout the way things change / and my family lives in a different state / if you don’t know what to make of this, then we will not relate

I’ve waited as long as possible to share a second THATH song, and it’s time. My favorite Seattle sextet closed both of their SF shows with this aching campfire worthy tune, and to be perfectly honest about my degree of emo, I teared up a bit the first time I heard it. The song’s lyrics, booming drum, and Charity’s raw, throaty voice embedded in the slightly off in a good way harmonies make it worth crying over.

Rivers and Roads was not on the band’s original cd release, and I have been dying to get my hands on a clear recorded version of the track for months. Prayers were answered when the band issued a remastered version of their debut album with a studio version of R and R in January.  #emo

Today’s Untz: Young Blood / The Naked and Famous

trying to find the in-betweens / fall back in love eventually / yeah yeah yeah yeah’

The Naked and Famous is a young group of New Zealanders that remind me of a less whiny Passion Pit. I love the beats in this song, the male/female vocals, and the feelings it evokes… like you’ve missed out on something good but you still feel hopeful for what is next. A fitting song title. The Naked and Famous’ ablum lands stateside March 6th, and Punching in a Dream is another favorite track. #untz

whiskey rivers and crystal castles

16 Jan

Emo (pronounced /ˈiːmoʊ/) A style of rock music typically characterized by melodic musicianship and expressive, often confessional lyrics.

Untz The official rave or techno sound of a pulsing beat, usually written with an umlaut (two dots) over the ‘U’.

Greetings to my first posting of the Untz and the Emo. You can expect tri-weekly updates of my favorite dance and indie songs, and perhaps some thoughts on what makes them so great.

Today’s emo: Down in the Valley / The Head and the Heart

To begin, a band I have done nothing but inundate everyone I know with since the first time I heard their album, the Head and the Heart. They may or may not have contributed to the inspiration behind the title of this blog, and are one of the reasons I got inspired enough to create one in the first place. Thus tweetathons, spammy Facebook posts, and enough youtube links in my gchat status to their achingly emo live shows to undoubtedly have trained some of my friends to stop bothering to click on my gchat status forever.

Ryan Adams vocals, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros cacophony of sounds and instruments, and simple yet sigh inducing lyrics (“I know there’s California / Oklahoma / and all of the places I ain’t ever been to / but down in the valley / the whiskey rivers / these are the places you will find me hiding / these are the places I will always go”) have made The Head and the Heart’s debut my favorite album of 2010.

These are the places I will always go. #emo

Today’s untz: Not in Love / Crystal Castles featuring Robert Smith

Risking a bit to have a somewhat emo-y first untz song, but this song has had me rocking out in my cube during the past week, and then wanting to down shots of patron while pre-gaming at a party intentionally hosted without patron this weekend. Crystal Castles borrows the lead singer of the Cure, turning the regular baby cooing like (but still awesome) vocals of this song into something both inteligible and all too tangible. “We were lovers / now we can’t be friends / fascination ends.” Might as well dance it out. #untz