After laying low throughout the pandemic, The Head and the Heart are resurfacing with a new single, “Every Shade of Blue,” today (January 21st). An album of the same name will arrive April 29th, and their “Every Shade of Blue Tour” will kick off in the spring.
The Seattle-formed sextet returns to the road May 20th in St. Petersburg, Florida, and currently has coast-to-coast North American dates announced through the beginning of October, with more to come according to the band members.
“This is the first time we’ve booked out so far in advance,” singer-violinist-guitarist Charity Rose Thielen tells Consequence. “The reality and the competition of everyone trying to get out there means a little bit more long-form planning. We’re trying to touch as much as we can within the moving target.”
Thielen and singer-guitarist Jonathan Russell also acknowledge a bit of trepidation after spending so much time largely at home and out of the fray.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some sort of fear of, ‘Holy shit, do I remember how to do this? I don’t know…'” Russell explains with a laugh. “I’ve learned what it’s like to be an indoor cat now. I’ve kind of been domesticated. I’m so scared I’ve un-learned how to survive the traveling circus on the road. I’m sure the first night it’s all gonna click.”
Thielen concurs, confident that “there’ll be a decent amount of muscle memory and we’ll get into the flow and re-establish patterns and habits again. I think it’s going to be amazing, especially going back into it with this newfound appreciation of live events and live music. That connection between the audience and us is going to really carry so much of the momentum of feeling.”
General public tickets for the tour go on sale today (January 21th), with tickets available via Ticketmaster.
Russell, Thielen and their bandmates are also excited to have a follow-up to 2019’s Living Mirage ready for expected release this spring. The 16-track Every Shade of Blue was started during 2019, but progress was of course scuttled by the pandemic. The group members continued working on material in their home studios and remotely with a variety of producers, including Andrew Sarlo, John Hill, Jon Brion and Jesse Shatkin.
The group connected particularly well with Shatkin (Sia, Kelly Clarkson, Fitz & the Tantrums) and wound up finishing the album with him during sessions last June and September at Studio Litho in Seattle, where THATH made its first two albums.
“It was almost like coming back home,” Russell reports. “We used the same engineer, Shawn Simmons. There was this balance of old and new, being familiar with the studio but bringing somebody much newer in his relationship with us.”
Russell and Thielen describe Every Shade of Blue as diverse. The title track — which Russell calls “my attempt at conveying the good and the bad that comes with the more you get to know someone” — blends ethereal verses with anthemic choruses, while Thielen says other tracks, such as “Starstruck,” are “pretty lively.”
“There’s a broad spectrum of sonic choices,” Russell says. “We didn’t try to present this one sort of angle or one dimension as a band.” Presenting that range, meanwhile, is what led to the album’s unexpected length.
“Typically we sort of vote songs off the island if we feel there’s a stronger song out there,” Russell explains. “This time when we were talking about the track list it was like, ‘Why don’t we just put every single song we like on the record?’ I mean, this record has gone through two presidencies, one pandemic, and vaccinations. Children have been born in this band. The amount of life changes that have gone on before, during and after these songs are part of the timestamp of this album.
“To us this record has all of that left in there, which is something we’ve never allowed ourselves to do. We’re finally putting it all out there. We’re so proud of it, proud of knowing all of us are really being represented on this album.”