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Public apply periods in resonant stairwells and open mic nights at Seattle establishments are the muse of the Seattle folk-pop band The Head and the Heart. Charity Rose Thielen, Seattle native and a member of The Head and the Heart, gave Visit Seattle the story behind the early days of forming a band in Seattle and how their hit tune “Rivers and Roads” was born out of it in a brand new episode of Music Genesis

Charity Rose Thielen grew up in North Seattle (or North of Seattle relying on “which native you speak to”). Thielen recollects a pure pull in the direction of music and tune when she was rising up below the affect of her mom, who was a retired orchestra instructor. The church and religion neighborhood she grew up in had been  additionally very integral in her introduction to music. She has recollections of sitting in the again of her grandmother’s automobile singing hymns as a household along with her two older sisters. She discovered violin and guitar, when she was younger and quickly after educating herself guitar she started to jot down songs and go down that “rabbit gap” of the Seattle music scene. That was how she grew to become conscious of the Seattle report label, Sub Pop, (which was the primary report label The Head and the Heart signed with) in addition to a spread of native Seattle artists that had been making the “singer-songwriter variety of mellow” music she was drawn to.

The Head and the Heart was shaped in 2009 and is made up of Charity Rose Thielen, Josiah Johnson, Jonathan Russell, Chris Zasche, Kenny Hensley, and Tyler Williams. The Head and the Heart constructed the muse of their band in the open mic scene in Seattle, particularly Conor Byrne Pub. It is the place the interview for this episode was shot and the place Thielen believes she and The Head and the Heart obtained their introduction to the Seattle music scene. The Conor Byrne is one of Seattle’s oldest-running pubs and has made a reputation for itself in the Seattle music scene for often offering a big selection of reside acts and open mics. Open mics present an area for artists and musicians of every type to discover their craft and take inventive dangers. In the early days of the band this explicit open mic allowed them to collaborate and improvise and discover the extra members who had been the lacking puzzle items of the band. 

When remembering early performances and variations of the band’s breakout tune “Rivers and Roads”, Thielen recollects feeling “tremendous impressed” and additionally a “very kinetic, fantastic vitality” upon listening to her band member, Josiah Johnson, play the tune. The band collaborated on the tune and labored by means of it collectively. Along with the impressed feeling Charity additionally felt a way of worry to share “the very sincere factor” that was coming to her. Luckily, she didn’t “let the worry silence” her and she shared the lyrics “rivers and roads” and from there the tune took form organically. 

The band continued to carry out the tune reside and refine it. Charity informed Visit Seattle about their reside apply periods at Pike Place Market the place they might get hold of “the pure reverb that occurs in parking garages and stairwells”. Pike Place Market is one of the United States’ oldest and largest repeatedly working public farmers markets. Located in the middle of downtown, the market is known for reside performances and busking that draws locals and guests alike. Performing their music in the hustle and bustle of Seattle offered the band with a various viewers made up of the residents and guests of the town. This viewers and the best way they obtained the music massively knowledgeable how the band continued to carry out and create, naturally infusing the tastes and views of Seattle into the music of The Head and the Heart. Today the smash hit tune “Rivers and Roads” has been streamed a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of instances. Its success has taken the band and their music throughout world and again to Seattle the place they carried out “Rivers and Roads”  reside throughout rooftop concert events at Pike Place Market in 2019 and 2021. 

Thielen sees venues like Conor Byrne Pub and the Seattle music scene in common as offering alternatives for artists to carry out and start to make waves exterior the native scene. She felt the native scene was an “extension of Seattle tradition and the welcoming variety of openness” she felt rising up there. It inevitably was the proper springboard to launch The Head and the Heart to international success with the band happening to launch 5 albums and numerous excursions and competition appearances. 


Thielen aptly equates The Head and the Heart to Seattle when she talks about their shared “welcoming vitality”. This welcoming vitality is seen in the band’s early reside performances, as they’re strolling off the stage and out into the viewers and in Seattle’s music scene, which has change into a lot greater than its well-known grunge scene and celebrates and helps musicians and artists of every type. Charity additionally mentions a “collective dynamic that embraces greater than only one voice” inside the band, which but once more speaks to the affect that Seattle and the town’s vibrant and various neighborhood of musicians have had on the band’s philosophy and priorities.

The tune “Rivers and Roads” is a tune that usually modifications which means for Charity Rose Thielen from efficiency to efficiency, however at its core it’s about eager for dwelling. And for this band that Thielen describes as a “chosen household”, Seattle is just not solely their birthplace, however their dwelling. The Head and the Heart is a band that completely exemplifies the welcoming, collaborative, and eclectic music scene in Seattle that many artists name dwelling.  

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