The Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennestrom has always had a voice, a wonderfully deep and robust voice, bluesy, billowing and full of nuance, one that has often earned comparisons to some Rock ‘N’ Roll’s greatest leading ladies like Grace Slick and Janis Joplin. It wasn’t until the band’s 2009 release, The Mountain, however, that the songwriting and musicianship began to provide the proper compliment. This new potency can be heard on “Parted Ways,” the first single from their forthcoming album, Arrows. Wennestrom wows, as always, along side a mid-tempo, country flavored jam, similar to something from Wilco’s early career. Then the tempo begins to stomp and the guitars begin to blaze way and it becomes something much more than a barroom rocker. It becomes stunning.
Heartless Bastards’ Arrows will be released February 14th on Partisan Records. A second track from Arrow, the blustery ballad, “Only For You,” can be streamed over at KCRW’s website.