Living Mirage is the fourth studio album from five-piece indie-folk act The Head And The Heart and follow-up to 2016's Signs of Light. After the release of their third LP, co-founder Josiah Johnson amicably left the group, with the band replacing the guitarist/vocalist with Charity Rose Thielen‘s husband, Matt Gervais. In the time since, longtime keyboardist Kenny Hensley has also returned to the fold. Appropriately, Living Mirage touches on these major changes, with bassist Chris Zasche describing the collection as a "rebirth, a spirit quest of sorts."
Living Mirage was initially conceived early in 2018 when the band came together for a retreat in Joshua Tree. The writing and recording process continued across the country, with sessions in Wisconsin, Seattle, Nashville and Los Angeles. Singer Jon Russell explains that "the tunes on this record are vignettes. This is literally the most work we've ever done on an album. "
For lead single, "Missed Connection," the group focuses in on the "anxiety that reasoned that growth spurt" following their recent lineup changes. Initially created as a tribute to Russell's girlfriend and how they met, the song shifted to a reflection on the group 's history, meeting for an open-mic in Seattle ten years. Musically, the song infuses tastes of hip-hop and pop production. Elaborated drummer Tyler Williams, "A lot of the beats on this song are quicker, and there are high hats that were never in our music before."
The Living Mirage: The Complete Recordings deluxe vinyl 2LP reissue features four brand new tracks ("Glory of Music II," "Sun Is Rising," "Backwards Breathing," and "One Big Mystery") and alternate cover art.