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The Dirty Heads Keep the Vibes Positive for Harmony by The Bay

In Music
Dirty Head

Dirty Heads bring 'positive vibes' reggae to Harmony by the Bay.

Incorporating a host of musical styles and influences, such as reggae, rock, punk and hip-hop, the Dirty Heads produce a sound that evokes a vision of what one could imagine it’s like hanging out in their hometown of Huntington Beach on a breezy summer evening.

The quintet’s new album, Cabin by the Sea—an ever so appropriate title—came out in June, and features a variety of feel-good tracks designed to transport listeners to a sunny beachside state of mind. The band plays alongside The Shins, Jimmy Cliff, Tegan and Sara, Alison Krauss and Matisyahu at Harmony by The Bay at Shoreline this Saturday.

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“I think a positive message in music is always going to work,” says singer Jared Watson over the phone from a noisy tour stop in Las Vegas.

“It was lacking a little bit for a while with the whole emo phase—there was a huge depressed, ‘blah’ kind of music scene—and I think people just got over it, especially with all of the stuff going on in the world.”

That infectious and uplifting spirit echoes throughout the 11-song collection, the group’s more laid-back, sophomore effort. “We wanted this album to be more organic,” Watson says, “and if things weren’t perfect, then we left them not perfect as long as they felt good, we just had a lot of fun with it.”

He adds, “I think with the first album we were a little nervous and a little scared. This time we were just a lot more comfortable in our skin, we knew what we were capable of, we learned a lot, and we matured a lot.”

The Dirty Heads have played a fair amount in the Bay Area and toured across the country several times now, but they are particularly excited to be performing at Harmony by the Bay. “Festivals are cool because you get to play in front of people that wouldn’t necessarily come and see you,” Watson says. “It’s a really cool opportunity to get some new fans, and show other people our music—and vice-versa. Some fans that come to see us might find another band that they had never heard of and they end up loving by the end of the day.”

Later this year, the Dirty Heads will be playing a series of shows opening for Sublime with Rome in Brazil—something that Watson can’t wait for. “That’s really my ultimate goal for the band, is to be able to travel the world and play shows—to be able to spread our message and music on a worldwide stage.”

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