Review: The Head and the Heart, ‘Signs of Light’

Indie folk six piece from Seattle, The Head and the Heart, rounded out second over the weekend on the iTunes Albums charts behind Jason Aldean’s country smash, They Don’t Know, with their third studio album Signs of Light, released on Friday, September 9.

Produced by Jay Joyce, the album acts as the first major label release for Josiah Johnson, Charity Rose, Kenney Hensley, Johnathan Russell, Tyler Williams and Chris Zasche, shifting to Warner Bros. Records from the independent label, Sub Pop Records.

As with their new record label, Signs of Light sheds a brighter and happier vibe for the band featuring strong rock rhythms with thumping bass lines and a Fleetwood Mac essence while remaining true to their roots with tender string melodies and deep, reflective lyricism.

Unlike the self-titled debut, The Head and The Heart and 2014 follow-up, Let’s Be Still that focused on movement and a sense of being lost through the themes of homelessness, death, relationships and mentally, Signs of Light seems to act as a new-found realization through the ideas of establishment both physically and in the soul.

In its reference to LA, the second track “City of Angels” with its sun drenched tones adequately demonstrates not only a lighter sound but the new themes for the band by providing the lyrics such as, “Yeah I know where my heart should be/ ‘Cause I have everything I want/ I have everything I need.” These ideas continue to progress in tracks like “False Alarm,” “Turn It Around” and becoming reassured in “In Your Mother’s Eyes.”

In contrast to their previous albums, Signs of Light still hints to earlier releases, especially as heard in the melody of “I Don’t Know” as it is strikingly similar to the 2011 single “Down In the Valley.”

However, the light does subtly dim and momentarily revives darkness heard in tracks such as “Colors” and “Oh My Dear,” through lyrics such as “Once or twice, that’s all we get in this life/ You can put it on the shelf/ You can watch the dust collect,” reminiscent of the 2014 effort “These Days Are Numbered.”

After a hiatus, The Head and the Heart will resume touring with a ‘Signs of Light’ tour.  Starting in New York on September 15, the band will light up Los Angeles’ Greek Theater Friday, October 7 with special guest, singer-songwriter solo act from Sweden, Tallest Man on Earth. Tickets for the show can be purchased on the band’s website,

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