Changing with The Head and the Heart

Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez. Graphic by Noemi Gonzalez.

You know a band has imprinted on your soul when you remember the exact moment you first heard them. I was a freshman in college when I first heard “Lost in My Mind” by The Head and the Heart. I distinctly remember sitting at Starbucks, studying for my midterms on the downtown Phoenix campus. It was kind of a moment of clarity while my discombobulated brain feebly attempted to decipher “z-scores” in statistics. Hearing Charity Rose Thielen’s voice allowed me to reach a level of comfort I hadn’t yet achieved while being away from my house in Wisconsin.

I listened to their first, self-titled album religiously and was able to watch them play at Summerfest in Milwaukee. Another indication of an ace artist is when they grow with you. As strange as it sounds, I know I’m not the same person I was when initially sipping my latte three years ago. I dress differently, take less s--- from people and have finally evolved my tidbits of interests and hobbies into something tangible: me. The Head and the Heart has not only supported that, but also assisted in it. This melodic, therapeutic blend of country, folk and indie rock has fostered the soundtrack of road trips, plane flights, study sessions and beach days. I think they’ve helped me fall in love with places, and even a few people.

Here are two of my favorite songs. The first is from “Let’s Be Still.” The second is from “The Head and the Heart.”



“Shake” — You know, saying this is my favorite is a hard pill to swallow. It’s one of those delightfully happy songs that sound like sunshine and good memories you want to embrace immediately. At the time, I played tape reels in my mind-projecting days ahead that I no longer will experience. However, instead of thinking of this as a “what we could have had” type of thing, I like to consider this an homage to every love that has slipped in and out of my hands. Because at one time, they did make me shake. It also has the best video.

“Even if it was a mistake / I can’t forget your face. Even if it was just a day / you won’t forget the man who’s making you shake.”

“Rivers and Roads” — This song will forever remind me of this strange sort of double residence I’ve adopted throughout college. I think other out-of-state students can relate to the idea of two homes across the country. This little tune starts slowly and picks up so sweetly and earnestly that every word beams importance. To those of you enduring long-distance love, I’d recommend this entire album. It helped me through the years.

“Been talkin’ 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.”

Reach the blogger at or on Twitter @IsabelleNovak.

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