Erika Wennerstrom's Heartless Bastards Call for Kindness in Deceptive Summer Song 'How Low'

Heartless Bastards, the roots-rock band led by Erika Wennerstrom, recently announced their new album: A Beautiful Life is the follow-up to 2015’s Restless Ones and will be released September 10th.

Now based in Austin, Wennerstrom enlisted players like Okkervil River guitarist Lauren Gurgiolo and My Morning Jacket keyboardist Bo Koster for this edition of the rotating Heartless Bastards lineup. The result is a sound that leans more indie-rock than Americana, but is informed by a hefty dose of soul. “How Low,” the album’s first single, is a satisfying summer song — with a deeper message in its lyrics.

“People can we get together and help each other out/The temperature is rising/Oh the world is filled with so much greed/Can we ask ourselves how much we really need?” Wennerstrom sings over a jangly guitar lick. “How Low” arrives with a music video (directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas and David Hartstein) that juxtaposes the vacuous Instagram life with images of poverty, natural disaster, and ultimately acts of kindness.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to choose a simple life; so many people struggle to get ahead so they don’t get left behind,”  Wennerstrom said in a statement. “I believe that a truly elevated, conscious society is one that seeks to lift each other up — one where we work for the common good.”

A Beautiful Life, co-produced by Wennerstrom and Kevin Ratterman, is Heartless Bastards’ sixth studio album. It’ll be released on Sweet Uknown Records/Thirty Tigers; the group will support the LP with a fall tour.

Here are Heartless Bastards’ tour dates:

September 16 — Little Rock, AR @ Stickyz
September 17  — Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
September 18  — St. Louis, MO @ Off Broadway Nightclub
September 19  — Nashville, TN @ 3rd & Lindsley Lightning 100 Sunday Show
September 22  — Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe
September 23  — Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre
September 24  — Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
September 25  — Covington, KY @ Madison Theater
September 27  — Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
September 29  — Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
September 30  — New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
October 1  — Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live Downstairs
October 2  — Washington, DC @ Union Stage
October 4  — Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
October 5  — Atlanta, GA @ Smith’s Olde Bar
October 7  — Houston, TX @ The Heights Theater
October 8  — Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival
October 29  — New Braunfels, TX @ Gruene Hall
October 30  — Oklahoma City, OK @ Tower Theatre
October 31  — Santa Fe, NM @ Tumbleroot Brewery & Distillery
November 1  — Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
November 3  — Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
November 4  — West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour
November 5  — San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
November 6  — Oakland, CA @ Starline Social Club Ballroom
November 8  — Sacramento, CA @ Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub
November 9  — Arcata, CA @ Arcata Theatre Lounge
November 11  — Eugene, OR @ Sessions Music Hall
November 12  — Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
November 13  — Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
November 14  — Missoula, MT @ The Wilma
November 15  — Bozeman, MT @ The ELM
November 17  — Salt Lake City, UT @ The State Room
November 19  — Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre
November 20  — Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
November 21  — Boulder, CO @ Fox Theatre
November 24  — Dallas, TX @ The Kessler Theater

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