TUESDAY, JULY 25 / 7:00 PM
About the Artist
On their latest album, ‘A Beautiful Life,’ Heartless Bastards present a radiant and wide-eyed vision for harmonizing a broken world. Led by frontwoman Erika Wennerstrom, the Ohio-born and Texas-transplanted band creates profoundly influential rock-and-roll songs that provoke contemplation, catharsis, and a joyful sense of defiance. With a delicate fusion of diverse influences like French pop, Celtic folk, space rock, symphonic pop, and post-punk, the album immediately invites listeners into a receptive mindset, inspiring deeper generosity, greater compassion, and a restored sense of possibility.
Co-produced by Wennerstrom and Kevin Ratterman, ‘A Beautiful Life’ features collaborations with talented musicians such as Lauren Gurgiolo, Greggory Clifford, Jesse Chandler, Bo Koster, David Pulkingham, and longtime Heartless Bastards bassist Jesse Ebaugh. While Wennerstrom initially considered releasing the album as a solo effort, she ultimately envisioned it as a continuation of the band’s critically acclaimed debut album, ‘Stairs and Elevators.’ The album represents a rebirth for Wennerstrom, showcasing her unwavering faith in her songs and herself.
Through introspective observation of the world, Wennerstrom explores central themes of the album: challenging the materialistic goals prioritized by society, redefining the concept of a beautiful life, and embracing open-mindedness and taking chances. Heartless Bastards guide their audience on an unhurried exploration of these ideas, crafting songs like ‘How Low’ that express frustration with the struggles of modern life and advocating for a society that uplifts each other. Tracks like ‘You Never Know’ blend Brazilian bossa nova and yé-yé influences, serving as spirited anthems against jadedness and reminding listeners to stay open and present.
One of the album’s hypnotic moments, ‘Photograph,’ unfolds as a sprawling psych-rock epic that urges unconditional compassion in the face of societal divisions. ‘Went Around The World’ elegantly merges hip-hop beats and dramatic strings to emphasize the interconnectedness of all life. Wennerstrom’s immersive and experimental creative process allowed her to breathe new life into fragments of songs she had conceived years ago, resulting in a finely detailed yet free-flowing sound. Collaborations with exceptional musicians like Andrew Bird and Fared Shafinury further enhanced the album’s artistic vision.
‘A Beautiful Life’ concludes with the contemplative and galvanizing track, ‘The Thinker,’ which implores listeners to see beauty in everything. Through this record, Wennerstrom emphasizes that her music is a gift and a means to feel more connected to the world. She hopes to foster a deep sense of connection among listeners, encouraging them to care for and uplift one another. ‘A Beautiful Life’ adds to the conversation on how humanity can overcome division and embrace a collective responsibility to support and uplift each other.