Heartless Bastards Announce 1st New Album In Over 5 Years

The long-awaited follow-up to 2015's 'Restless Ones' is due in September, the same month Heartless Bastards kick off a lengthy fall tour, and features lead single "How Low."

By Scott Bernstein Jun 16, 2021 1:09 pm PDT

Austin’s Heartless Bastards will release a new album entitled A Beautiful Life via Sweet Unknown Records/Thirty Tigers on September 10. Frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom is backed by longtime Heartless Bastards bassist Jesse Ebaugh, guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo (Okkervil River), drummer Greggory Clifford (White Denim), multi-instrumentalist Jesse Chandler (Mercury Rev, Midlake), keyboardist Bo Koster (My Morning Jacket) and guitarist David Pulkingham (Patty Griffin) on the group’s first LP since 2015’s Restless One.

The first Heartless Bastards album in over five years features 11 tracks, including lead single “How Low.” Wennerstrom co-produced the LP with Kevin Ratterman (Jim James, Strand Of Oaks). While Erika initially conceived A Beautiful Life as a solo album, she eventually decided to regroup the band for the album. “I loved the last iteration of Heartless Bastards so much—they’re like family—but the stars weren’t aligning for us to reconvene on this record,” explained Wennerstrom. “As the record came together I realized it’s always been my project, and I was determined to continue forth with that. I had so much faith in these songs and in myself, and in many ways it feels like a rebirth.” Additional contributors include Andrew Bird and Fared Shafinury.

Wennerstrom shared the following about the band’s new single:

‘How Low’ was inspired by my frustration with late-stage capitalism’s effect on humanity and our environment. The planet sustains our lives, but if we continue to make everything we use disposable to where we have to constantly buy things over and over again, and we pollute, we’re going to wipe ourselves out in the not too distant future. Profits have been put far ahead of what is good for humanity. We’re all trying to get by in this world, but at what cost? We need a better system, one where we work for the common good. Today’s prevalent mental health issues are definitely tied to this every man for himself mentality. It’s very isolating, people are longing for deep connections. Maybe a balanced society seems idyllic, but let’s dare to dream of a better world and all the possibilities If we all stop fighting amongst ourselves, and look at the bigger picture. ‘How Low’ felt like a challenging message to convey in a 4-minute video, but I think Sam Wainwright Douglas and David Hartstein did an incredible job.

Heartless Bastards begin their fall tour at Stickyz in Little Rock on September 16. The band then hits Columbia (Missouri), St. Louis, Nashville, Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago, Covington (Kentucky), Millvale (Pennsylvania), Cambridge (Massachusetts) and New York City later in September. October starts for the group with dates in Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Carrboro (North Carolina) and Atlanta before a swing through their home state of Texas that includes stops in Houston, Austin and New Braunfels.

A performance in Oklahoma City on October 30th is followed by a Halloween concert in Santa Fe. Heartless Bastards wrap the tour in November with shows in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Montana, Utah, Colorado and Texas. Tickets go on sale this Friday, June 18 at 10 a.m. local time to the general public.

Watch Heartless Bastards’ “How Low” video below:

A Beautiful Life Tracklist

  1. Revolution
  2. How Low
  3. You Never Know
  4. When I Was Younger
  5. The River
  6. Photograph
  7. A Beautiful Life
  8. Dust
  9. Went Around The World
  10. It Doesn’t Matter Now
  11. The Thinker
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