Signs of Light
Reviewed by: Geno Thackara
The members of The Head and the Heart seem like the kind of gang you’d probably have a great time with if you happened to meet them out at the pub some night. They come across as warm-hearted, easygoing and just plain nice to be around, and it’s all reflected with quaint hooks and charm. If you’re in the mood for that kind of inviting friendliness in song form, look no farther than Signs of Light.
These guys and gal operate in a comfortable alt-indie-folk mode that’ll scratch a similar itch to the Shins or Of Monsters and Men, maybe crossed with a light touch of Dawes-ish Americana. Tasty violin and vocal melodies are underpinned with chiming guitars and catchy drumming to get your head bobbing. These songs deal with changes: old relationships, new living places and shifting directions in life. The words seesaw between meditating and celebrating on those topics, but once put to music, it all comes out sounding more bright than anything else. The band is clearly rejuvenated from coming together after a hiatus and thrilled to start catching up.
The words are thoughtful yet simple: “You can turn it around / There’s nobody blocking your way or taking you down,” for example, or “Take a walk, try to relax / it’s not as bad as you think.” If there’s not much we haven’t heard before, well, there’s nothing wrong with that either. Signs of Light offers a mix that’s suited to affable live singalongs or emotional TV-show montages the same way that, say, Iz or Jack Johnson would fit on a summer holiday playlist: it goes down perfectly pleasant and smooth if you’re happy to relax and go with it, light, undemanding and familiar as a favorite T-shirt.