On Record: The Head And The Heart

In 2009, Seattle folk-rock band The Head and the Heart self-released their debut album with modest expectations. A year later, it was picked up by Sub Pop, and quickly became one of the label’s all-time best sellers. We talked to Jonathan Russell and Josiah Johnson about their new record Let's Be Still, the road to the top and more. You met each other at an open mic. Which one was it? Jonathan: It’s called Conor Byrne. It’s in Ballard, a super blue-collar part of Seattle. It’s a typical Irish pub, five beers on tap. The cool thing about it was they had a built-in stage, an upright piano, and a good enough PA system, and they had an open mic that got these incredible veteran songwriters. I felt super intimidated the first time I ever went there, because they’re guys playing original songs in their 50s and 60s, and they were really good. And just like any other open mic, there was also, “This is my first time, this is my second song.” But if you were there as a songwriter who was trying to take your shit seriously, it was intimidating – but in a very good, healthy, competitive…

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