photos + story / Sarah Wrigley + Aly Vander Hayden
The Head & the Heart ended their set at the old world glamour Gramercy Park Hotel on Monday night with the nostalgic, wistful “Rivers and Roads,” a song that tells the story of a family of friends going in different directions.
“We wrote this for a bunch of our friends who were moving to New York from Seattle”—it is a song of reminiscence. With all of The Head & the Heart’s closest friends and family assembled under the soft red light of the Rose Bar’s velvet curtained nooks and low slung, candle-lit tables, the band’s sentiment was touchingly earnest and tangible. Well-dressed socialites and waspy hipsters stood swaying to lead vocalist Josiah Johnson’s croon “My family lives in another state.”
Though it was our first time seeing more Brooks Brothers than beanies at a concert, the crowd was notably genuine, unselfconsciously dancing with enthusiasm to the band’s uplifting beats off of their first, and only, self-titled album.
“I got a lot of weird looks when I walked in with a 12-pack of Budweiser… If it was Budweiser with lime it might have been more acceptable,” singer and violinist Charity Rose Thielen commented while a group near the front of the stage were receiving bottle service.
Even if the venue was a seemingly odd fit at first, it proved to be the perfect environment to comfortably house the blossoming indie-folk group. With their sold-out show the previous night at Terminal 5 and their addition to the Saturday line-up at Coachella, The Head & The Heart are on the rise, gaining fans from every social circle along the way.