When: Thursday, July 2
Where: Trees Dallas
Times: Doors: 7:00 pm | Show: 9:00 pm
Tickets: $15 | All-Ages
Heartless Bastards have spent the past decade in motion, boldly pushing their unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll into new shapes over four acclaimed albums and nearly non-stop roadwork. Now, with RESTLESS ONES, the band sets out once again, blazing a path to a place of shifting moods, seasoned songcraft, and unbridledspontaneity. Heartless Bastards’ fifth studio recording and follow-up to 2012’s breakthrough ARROW, the album finds singer/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom exploring as-yet-unvisited avenues of sound and sensation, her bravery and ambition readily apparent in the emotional timbre and the sheer physicality of her songs. “Wind Up Bird” and “Into The Light” are straightforward yet stunningly sophisticated, shot through with layered guitars, atmospheric harmonies, hints of synth, and a powerhouse rhythm section adept at both subtle swing and heavy horsepower. Wennerstrom’s spellbinding vocals are of course front and center, her one-of-a-kind voice as primal, cathartic, and indefinable as ever. “We took a lot of chances,” Wennerstrom says, “taking the sounds in different directions in order to grow. I don’t ever want to make the same album twice.”
Now based in Austin, the band’s current incarnation – that is, guitarist Mark Nathan, bassist Jesse Ebaugh, and drummer Dave Colvin – united in 2009, touring Heartless Bastards’ acclaimed third album, THE MOUNTAIN, before hitting the studio to record ARROW. ARROW proved popular success, earning Heartless Bastards’ top album and track sales to date, fueled by multi-format rock radio airplay across the land, high-profile placements on a wide range of highly rated network programming, rave reviews in the likes of Rolling Stone, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, and show-stopping performances on such TV shows as NBC’s Friday Night Lights, CBS’ Late Show with David Letterman, TBS’ Conan, and ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The band celebrated with furious roadwork, including sold out headline tours and memorable appearances at such famed festivals as Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Lollapalooza, Pickathon, Hangout Music Festival, Summerfest, Wakarusa Music Festival, Firefly Music Festival, and Austin’s own ACL Music Festival and Fun Fun Fun Fest.
Having spent the better part of two years on tour, summer 2014 saw Heartless Bastards humming on all cylinders and ready to commence work on their next record. Wennerstrom began honing in on the myriad ideas she had accumulated, developing melodies and arrangements though not yet committing lyrics to paper. She experimented with vowel and consonant noises, toying with untested sounds and instrumentation.