Photo: James Minchin

New Anthem for The Head and the Heart

The past few years have seen many local music spaces unplugging the amps and shutting their doors for the last time (RIP IOTA), but a deluge of shiny new venues opening this year within the District are set to fill the void. The Anthem, which switched sound on just two weeks ago, is drawing big names for its inaugural lineup. This Friday night is no exception when indie folk sweethearts The Head and the Heart headline at the already awed over Wharf venue.

Formed in 2009, The Head and the Heart have released three full-length albums, with this fall’s tour in support of the third, 2016’s Signs of Light. Where their self-titled first album was appropriately 2010 romantifolk (distributed originally in handmade denim sleeves at shows before Sub Pop stepped in and released the remastered version in 2011), the band’s sophomore album Let’s Be Still showcased their growth – refined technique and stylistic versatility served up on a wholesome platter of “all the feels.”

At the risk of downplaying the skill that was showcased in Let’s Be Still, Signs of Light is perhaps an answer to that slightly more esoteric set, playing into today’s pop-y techno/dance music trend. And indeed, Signs of Light has been met with appreciation from the band’s expanded audience, as evidenced by the acclaim the album has received – released last fall on Warner Bros. Records, it debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200.

Nevertheless, openers for Friday’s show at The Anthem will be indie folk/alt-country band Phosphorescent, a supporting act that some of the band’s more longtime fans is sure to enjoy seeing play alongside The Head and the Heart.

With all shows in the Signs of Light tour, for every online ticket purchased, fans receive a choice of either a standard physical or standard digital copy of the new album. As a thank you, you also get an exclusive free download of the band’s cover of “Don’t Dream It’s Over” originally performed by Crowded House.

After Friday, The Head and the Heart will round out this season’s tour at Voodoo Fest in New Orleans. Tickets to tomorrow’s show at The Anthem start at $45. Buy them here.

The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, DC; 202-888-0020;


Courtney Sexton

Courtney Sexton is a New Jersey native who grew up between the Delaware River and the sandy Pine Barrens. She has called D.C. home for long enough to now be considered a “local”. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is the co-founder of D.C. literary reading series and writing community, The Inner Loop. She listens to a lot of music and sometimes even tries to make it. She writes a good deal about places and human relationships to them, constantly exploring the intersections of nature and culture. Her dog, Rembrandt, features prominently in her life and work.