Heartless Bastards ©KLRU photo by Scott Newton

Heartless Bastards



Heartless Bastards by Mishka Westall_ACL41


Heartless Bastards Taping Set list

Rich with purpose, passion, and commanding musicianship, Heartless Bastards’ new album Restless Ones – their fifth studio album – captures an idiosyncratic band exploring their craft and soul to reach a place both true and transcendent. The band returns to Austin City Limits for the second time to perform songs from their newest release.

A concept album about looking toward new horizons, Restless Ones finds singer-songwriter Erika Wennerstrom exploring as-yet-unvisited avenues of sound and sensation. Wennerstrom’s vocals are front and center, her one-of-a-kind voice as primal as ever. Pitchfork called her vocals “exquisitely engaging in its world-weary twang.”

This incarnation of the Cincinnati-bred group, composed of Wennerstrom, guitarist Mark Nathan, bassist Jesse Ebaugh, and drummer Dave Colvin, united in 2009. They toured Heartless Bastards’ third album The Mountain, before hitting the studio to record 2012’s breakthrough album Arrow. The group toured for the better part of two years before beginning work on Restless Ones in summer 2014.

Now based in Austin, the band worked with Grammy Award-winner John Congleton, who has worked with St. Vincent, Angel Olsen and Swans, to produce the album. Congleton was tasked with corraling Heartless Bastards’ collective energy for Restless Ones. He helped the group synthesize their influences – everything from the Flaming Lips to Haruki Murakami – for the most polished album in their discography. NPR said the album’s combinations of psychedelia, indie rock, country and pop “fall together into a beautiful order.” The Boston Globe called Restless Ones the group’s “most accomplished, most musical album yet.”