NPR has premiered "Gates of Dawn," the first track from the new highly anticipated Heartless Bastards record, due out June 16 on Partisan. Titled Restless Ones, the album is the band's fifth and was produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen, Swans). Restless Ones was tracked in August 2014 during a 10-day session at El Paso, TX's renowned Sonic Ranch. Located on 2,300 acres of pecan orchards bordering the Rio Grande and Mexico, the studio - the largest residential recording complex in the world - provided the perfect setting, miles away from all real world responsibilities and thus able to fully invest themselves in the act of creation.
"We took a lot of chances," says singer/songwriter Erika Wennerstrom says, "taking the sounds in different directions in order to grow. I don't ever want to make the same album twice."
Heartless Bastards - Wennerstrom, guitarist Mark Nathan, bassist Jesse Ebaugh, and drummer Dave Colvin -- 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 unbridled spontaneity. Restless Ones is the follow-up to 2012's breakthrough Arrow, the album finds 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. Her spellbinding vocals are of course front and center, her one-of-a-kind voice as primal, cathartic, and indefinable as ever.
Restless Ones was finished in the fall with two mixing sessions at Congleton's Elmwood Recording in Dallas. Heartless Bastards' next challenge is bringing the album's studio-crafted songs to the stage. "It'll be fun to chuck it all at the wall and let the collective experience of band/audience dictate the conversation of the music," Ebaugh says. "That's the mission ultimately: rock 'n' roll communion."