The Head shares new music via PopMatters, PureVolume & more, new EP Millipedes out tomorrow

The Head shares new music via PopMatters, PureVolume & more, new EP Millipedes out tomorrow

Listen to The Head’s “Jesus” at PureVolume

“Pebbles on the Ground” at Ghettoblaster

“It Ain’t Easy” at PopMatters

“Unspoken” at Performer

*Stream/embed select tracks from Millipedes

RIYL: Speedy Ortiz, Weezer, The Troggs, Colleen Green, Teenage Fanclub, R.E.M., Mikal Cronin, The Smiths, Twin Peaks, Yuck, Superheaven

The Head [L-R]: Jack Shaw, Mike Shaw, Jacob Morrell Photo by Valheria Rocha.

“The Head exemplify the DIY work ethic.” – The Blue Indian

“Thought-provoking. … What they lack in years they more than make up for in their energetic brand of ‘90s-inspired rock music.” – PopMatters

“Their heavy dose of vintage college rock, lo-fi garage and shoegaze is a welcome throwback, yet retains a sonic quality that feels at home in 2015.” – PureVolume

“The new EP from The Head is a rollicking, five-song crash course in fusing pop perfection with gritty, fuzzed-out rock & roll … the unified vision of a band that knows its history, and a thing or two about reinventing it in the now.” – Performer

“The Head have mastered the beloved science of catchy, toe-tapping melodies plus rich vocal harmonies.” – SPIN

“Freshly melodic … this young group shows a rare ability to channel older traditions but plays them with a full slate of personal inspiration.” – Glide Magazine

“Atlanta’s youngest rock & roll veterans.” – Blurt

NOV. 12, 2015 — The Head’s new EP Millipedes comes out tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 13, and in the lead up to release, they’ve been featured at outlets such as PopMatters, PureVolume, and Ghettoblaster and Performer magazines. Millipedes is a rollicking, five-song crash course in fusing pop perfection with gritty, fuzzed-out rock & roll. With the three-chord Troggs-style simplicity of opener “Jesus” and the Midwestern indie-rock of “Raincoats”; with phased-out New Wave daydreamer ”Pebbles on the Ground” and would-be ’90s alternative anthem “It Ain’t Easy,” Millipedes is the unified vision of a band that knows its history, and a thing or two about reinventing it in the now. Just ask the legendary artists who have taken The Head under their wing—Big Star’s Jody Stephens, producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Pavement), John Vanderslice and Guided By Voices’ Doug Gillard to name a few. The band has also held their own on stages with the likes of Primal Scream, Dream Syndicate’s Steve Wynn and garage rockers Those Darlins, and have been spotlighted by outlets such as SPIN, Magnet and PopMatters.
The band’s deep well of pop-music knowledge always comes through—and this from a trio of guys still in their early 20s. It wasn’t long ago that the members of The Head—guitarist Jacob Morrell, singer/bassist Mike Shaw and his drummer brother Jack—came together as teenagers in their hometown of Atlanta. “We formed in high school during our freshman year,” Mike says. “Jack and I were looking for someone to play some songs with—we met Jacob and he ended up becoming one of our best friends.” The story of The Head is the dream of so many aspiring kids jamming out in their garages across the nation, and with Millipedes (out Nov. 13), the band takes a big step forward.
The new EP marks a noticeable shift toward more distorted, ‘80s & ‘90s-channeling post-punk-tinged rock & roll, all anchored by frontman Mike Shaw’s self-assured croon. These days, artists as eclectic as Echo and the Bunnymen, Scott Walker, Frank Sinatra, Alvvays, Viet Cong, The Ronettes and Joy Division soundtrack The Head’s latenight hauls in the van, as they whirl from town to town on tour after tour.
The band’s new music is compelling evidence that they’re not just enthusiastic players but adept students of their craft. Blurt magazine once declared The Head “Atlanta’s youngest rock ‘n’ roll veterans,” but Mike says, ”I feel like we’re still learning, now more than ever. And we’re enjoying every bit of what we’re learning.” With years of experience as a teenage rock & roll band under their belt, The Head is more eager than ever to branch out and experiment with new sounds. “We look forward to consistently re-imagining ourselves,” Jack says. “We don’t have a one-dimensional idea of who we are.”
The band’s recent progression in songwriting is also matched by the more mature lyrical content of Millipedes. Of particular note is “It Ain’t Easy,” which takes on the 2012 Newtown school shooting. Inspired by a New Yorker profile of the gunman’s father, “It Ain’t Easy” takes what in lesser hands could be a clumsy protest song and frames the tragedy through the disarming lens of empathy and personal relationships. “Without the history behind the shooting,” Mike says, “it can still be a song about a father and a son, or about society as a whole.” Like The Head’s music, the lyrics to “It Ain’t Easy” are honest and unpretentious, along the way making a simple yet resounding point.
The ability to tackle a topic as heavy as Newtown in a simple rock & roll song has a lot to do with the mood the band cultivated in the studio when the new EP was recorded. “This time around, we were a lot more open” Mike says. “We let the instrumentation breathe, and we weren’t as uptight about forcing things into a particular shape. It’s the result of us exploring a newer and more varied set of interests.”
Millipedes is notably the first set of songs the band has produced themselves. “Until recently, we’d always recorded in professional studios with a producer,” Jack told PopMatters earlier this year, “but this time out, we felt we owed it to ourselves to make a record without any outside influence. It was definitely the most natural and relaxed we’ve ever felt about the process. We got creative and allowed mistakes to happen, which gives the songs this raw energy.”
Asked what’s is in store for The Head for the remainder of 2015, they have just two words—“heavy touring.” since the start of summer, the band has been spending at least two weeks on the road each month. It’s given them a chance to bring additional life to the new EP’s vibrant cuts, and to treat crowds to fresh new songs that are still taking shape. “We’re always trying out new material live,” Mike says, hinting at what fans should expect on the band’s upcoming 45-date U.S. tour, which spans from August to November. “From here on out,” Mike says, “the road is pretty much going to be our home.”


Upcoming tour dates

Oct. 27- Chicago, IL- Emporium (Wicker Park)

Oct. 28- Indianapolis, IN- Melody Inn

Oct. 29- Carbondale, IL- PK’s

Oct. 30- Murray, KY- Freedom Skate Shop

Nov. 3- Florence, AL- The End

Nov. 4- Nashville, TN- The Basement

Nov. 5- Memphis, TN- Buccaneer Lounge

Nov. 6- New Orleans, LA- Saturn Bar

Nov. 10- Richmond, VA- The Camel

Nov. 11- Philadelphia, PA- Bourbon & Branch

Nov. 12- Brooklyn, NY- Don Pedro

Nov. 13- Boston, MA- Lilypad

Nov. 14- Newport, RI- Jimmy’s Saloon

Nov. 16- New Haven, CT- Anna Liffey’s

Nov. 17- New Brunswick, NJ- Paradise Lost

Nov. 18- Harrisonburg, VA- Golden Pony

Nov. 19- Raleigh, NC- Slim’s Downtown

Nov. 20- Greensboro, NC- New York Pizza

Nov. 21- Greenville, SC- Radio Room

Nov. 28- Atlanta, GA- Drunken Unicorn

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The Head shares new music via PopMatters, PureVolume & more, new EP Millipedes out tomorrow