Imagination Head musically sticks to their moniker, with heady concepts and imaginative compositions that teeter between nostalgia and destiny. Any fan of Built to Spill or The Shins, or even Cake, will want to hear Imagination Head. Their indie palette, created by acoustic and electric guitars, keyboard, xylophone, flute and rich vocal harmonies, is at once accessible and unique, weaving a dreamy undertone to peppy melodies or injecting dark country tones to an otherwise buoyant atmosphere. The paradoxes within the music are at once amusing and alluring.
The band’s second full-length album, On/Off, recorded at the Wonderroot studio, is set for release on January 29. Band founder, J.R. Wicker touches on the theme of the album, revealing, “A lot of themes on On/Off circle around my ideas of what the future may resemble if modern life continues on the track it’s on.” He continues by quoting “Tomorrow’s Garden”, “Clones plant plastic flowers in the evening. On a neon screen they scroll and choose their pills. A19 makes their brains think they’re happy. C14 makes their problems seem less real,” explaining that the song “is a literal picturing of tomorrow’s genetically-perfected people at vending machines, hand-picking their choice prescription drugs.” The title of the album, On/Off, refers to the reoccurring imagery, found within the lyrics, of TV-induced brainwashing. Wicker adds, “and the album art is TV-themed, so it made sense.”
Imagination Head was started by J.R. Wicker in Memphis, where a supportive group of musicians helped him find a public outlet for his music. In the beginning, he performed alone, except for a few occasions when his wife would join him singing on stage. Since 2007, the Wickers have moved to Atlanta and have multiplied by three to include Vince (electric guitar), Puma Navaro (drums), Nick Belafonte (bass), and Kara (flute). Wicker continues to man his acoustic, while wifey, Erin, supplies vocal harmonies, keyboard tinkles, and xylophone tinks.
On/Off will be released on January 29 at The Highland Inn Ballroom, where Imagination Head will be joined by supporting acts Misfortune500 and Lobster Mobster Poetry Collective. Wicker admits their live act has changed over time, stating, “In the past, I’d say our shows were more theatrical, more “Back Pockets”-like, but they’ve become more terse, more to the point. However, at the CD release, there will be a human CD dispensing machine. Come to the show to see what that means.”
The human CD dispensing machine fits very neatly within the spectrum of lyrical content on the new record, which cleverly melds the mechanical with the organic. Rock Science has also revealed that the original oil painting that was used for the cover art of On/Off will be awarded to the best dancer on Imagination Head’s radar! Homemade t-shirts will also make their debut, so you have plenty of reasons to head out to the party this Saturday!
Listen to “Violence” from On/Off: