Head and the Heart

I first came across The Head and the Heart shortly after their first release in 2011. I didn’t realize they were from Seattle at the time, and, in reality, I knew almost nothing about the indie band, besides that they were making great folk rock – possibly too good, because it was hard to imagine that they would ever live up to how much their songs were getting played, on the radio, on TV and at your local bar by every style of cover band.

The Head and the Heart have always written songs about what they are going through, where they have been and where they would like to be. Their honest approach to music and lyrics has captivated multitudes of fans who might be listening to electronic music otherwise. Since they first hit the big time, their fans have given them the confidence to trust themselves in all of their endeavors.

Their first album had multiple songs that would make an impact on me. I even made “Cats and Dogs” my alarm-clock ring in the morning for a while, for better or worse. “Cats and Dogs” is an amazing progressive-folk song that only lasts two minutes and leaves you at the right time, wishing it could last forever. It is the first song on The Head and the Heart’s first album (self titled), and I can’t think of any band that ever gave themselves a better introduction to the world.

“Down in the Valley,” “Heaven Go Easy on Me” and “Rivers and Roads” were all songs that also jumped out at me right from the beginning. Other listeners felt the same way, and it wasn’t long before these songs were everywhere, especially “Rivers and Roads.” That song was so popular and contains a few simple lyrics that are repeated so many times that I actually got more tired of that song than “Cats and Dogs,” a song I was listening to each morning and then multiple times depending on how many times the snooze button got pressed.

Since their early days, The Head and the Heart have released a total of three albums and played everywhere, across the states and around the world. They are once again on tour and will hit Aspen this weekend with three shows at the Belly Up — Friday, Saturday and Sunday night.

The Head and the Heart first began when six strangers met and started playing together at a local pub in Seattle called Conor Byrne, sharing only a love of music. They sung harmonies and stomped their feet as they strummed acoustic instruments, vying for the attention of the bargoers.

In those early performances they harnessed an unrestrained energy informed by their own tastes that would create their first album, released by a local Seattle label in 2011. After that album dropped, something unexpected happened — a folk band from Seattle began to reach audiences all over the United States and the rest of the world. The Head and the Heart went from playing open-mic nights to selling out headlining shows at prestigious venues, and this weekend they will continue to do just that at the Belly Up.

It’s OK, Boeing: John Zelazny isn’t allowed to fly anymore either. He appreciates your comments at zelazny@aspendailynews.com.