Honcho Discusses “Shake”, The New Song by Head and the Heart

Editor’s Note: I’ve chatted with Honcho before about music and to be honest, it’s a wonder he still listens at all. Generally he has trouble getting into most popular music and especially the Americana movement that’s so blatant in Seattle right now. So… you might be as shocked as I am when you read his review of Head and the Heart’s new song.

lets be still head and the heart

lets be still head and the heart

The success of The Head and The Heart (TH&TH) caught a lot of the Seattle music scene by surprise. Coming up at the Conor Byrne Pub in Ballard and then seemingly exploding onto the map overnight (lots of hard work, practice and finely honed songs are what actually did it) made for a ton of haters and people who were more than happy to lump the band in with the “new folk, foot stomp, blah blah blah” scene that has taken over popular music right now.  I admit, when I first heard the album my wife couldn’t stop gushing over, I hated it straight away. Honcho the Grouch loves rock n roll, punk and music with guts and strength. But I will admit that soon I was digging the layered sound and the tight pop structure found in many of the songs of their debut release “The Head and the Heart”.

 Talking with members of the band for the last two years, I have pestered and prodded and pushed them to tell me what kind of sound they would be following up with on their sophomore release. The “sophomore slump” is a real thing and far too many good bands have fallen by the wayside by releasing an album number two that sounds WAY too close to the first, or so far out in left field from the first album (I’m looking at you MGMT) that the good will built off the success of the debut is squandered. Some bands do it right, mixing the feel of the old sound with new instruments, better production and a little more creativity (Vampire Weekend) that helps build on the fan base. And listening to the just released streaming audio of first single “Shake” (listen below), I have nothing to fear except less time seeing my friends as they go back out on tour for a LONG TIME.

 “Shake” opens up with electric guitar (something sorely lacking on the debut) and a thumping kick drum that lets you know, “this is no hootenanny song”! And when Jon Russell starts singing with a touch of reverb on the vocals….yup, that’s the money right there. And in proper TH&TH form, the vocal harmonies kick in later and help bring it all back home for music lovers out there.

Catch The Head and The Heart on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon this Tuesday August 6th, you won’t be disappointed. Honcho approves this music.

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