Partisan Records is incredibly excited to announce that they have signed Austin’s Heartless Bastards. Already the home to such indie luminaries as Deer Tick, Dolorean and Middle Brother, among many others, Heartless Bastards is the perfect addition to this artist-friendly, Brooklyn-based label. The band’s new record, Arrow, is due to be released on February 14, 2012.
Arrow was produced by Spoon drummer and co-producer Jim Eno at his Public Hi-Fi home studio in Austin. Brimming with confidence and creativity, Arrow sees Heartless Bastards pushing their distinctive sound forward with their most eclectic, energetic collection thus far. Marked as ever by singer/guitarist/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom’s remarkable voice – at turns primal and pleading, heartfelt and heroic – it expertly captures the Austin, Texas-based band’s multi-dimensional rock in all its strength and spirit. Following upon the difficult introspection of 2009’s acclaimed third album, The Mountain, the album stands tall as a powerhouse new beginning for Wennerstrom and the Heartless Bastards.
The Mountain was me going through some things after being in a relationship for nine years,” Wennerstrom says. “This album is kind of like me being comfortable again.”
Arrow serves as the recorded debut of the Heartless Bastards’ current iteration, their latest and greatest line-up since Wennerstrom first convened the band back in 2003. Drummer Dave Colvin and bassist Jesse Ebagh – both of whom played on the Bastards’ first-ever demo recordings – returned to the fold in order to play live behind The Mountain. Soon after embarking on tour, Wennerstrom decided to put more meat on the band’s raw bones by enlisting guitarist Mark Nathan, who had ostensibly come aboard to handle the live sound.
The expanded line-up brought additional color and dynamism to the Heartless Bastards’ already colorfully dynamic rock ‘n’ roll. With their sound honed to a razor’s edge by night after night of playing live, the Heartless Bastards were soon ready to record for posterity. But having spent so much of the past year on tour, Wennerstrom knew she needed some downtime in order to turn her musical ideas into fully-fledged songs. In Fall 2010, she embarked on the first of what would be several solo road trips designed to clear the cobwebs and help focus her songwriting. Wennerstrom visited friends and family in Ohio and Arkansas, hung out at All Tomorrow’s Parties in the Catskills, spent alone time in a lake cabin in the Allegheny Mountains and at a ranch in West Texas.
Arrow sees the Heartless Bastards doing what all great bands do – furthering their artistic scope with each successive effort. With its impressive range and undeniable vigor, the album flies straight, honest and true, the finest distillation yet of this extraordinary rock ‘n’ roll band’s fiery, unforgettable sound.
“I feel like this is the strongest record I’ve ever done,” Wennerstrom says. “I feel like playing with these guys, us all being so connected, really helped make it so fully realized. I’m really, really happy with it.”
Sign up at theheartlessbastards.com to be the first to hear the new single, “Parted Ways,” on December 1st