Reviews of new records from Brandy Clark, The Head And The Heart, and more

The Head And The Heart, Let’s Be Still
If the Seattle rockers’ self-titled debut felt like a flurry of leaves wisping in the indie wind, then their vastly superior follow-up stands like a sturdy oak tree. Every drumbeat is harder, every guitar pluck louder, every harmony more assured. The band conjures overcast West Coast romance on the pretty title track and sounds like a lusher, more rollicking version of the Lumineers on the standout single ”Shake.” There’s enough head and heart here to carry these guys long after the folk-rock fad fades. A-Grady Smith

Brandy Clark, 12 Stories
For more than a decade, Clark has been writing darkly humorous songs for some of Nashville’s finest, most recently co-penning major hits for both Miranda Lambert (”Mama’s Broken Heart”) and the Band Perry (”Better Dig Two”). On her own debut, Clark keeps things edgy, singing about divorce, drugs, jail, and Jesus — a.k.a. country music’s Golden Quadrangle — with matter-of-fact sass and ample twang. B+Grady Smith

Poliça, Shulamith
Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who once called Poliça ”the best band I’ve ever heard,” lends his vocals to a song here, but a better reference point might be their ambient-pop tourmates the xx, with more backbone. The Minneapolis act’s second album lets its dark afterhours disco and R&B pulse freely over the cool haze of Channy Leaneagh’s captivating vocals. It’s propulsive enough for dance floors, and dreamy enough for headphones. B+Ray Rahman