Tag Archives | heartless bastards

Review: Heartless Bastards at Koko

I haven’t been to Koko in ages. And by ‘ages’ I do mean it by regular standards and not just my own warped idea of what is ages to not go to a venue. Last time I was there was in October 2008 to see Jenny Lewis/of Montreal (the shows were back to back, I can’t remember which came first).

The show was super early and Heartless Bastards were the only support act. The venue was fairly quiet but something about it felt very lovely… I think it was because I was by myself. I rarely go to shows alone anymore, and it’s kind of calming when I do. I’m not really sure why. I was shooting the show for Drowned In Sound so I got to watch the whole of Heartless Bastard’s set from the photopit (it was so relaxed! There wasn’t even a security guy). One of my least favourite things about shooting shows with photopits is that you have to go to the back after 3 songs, so it’s always a joy to be able to stay in the photopit, and have the best view of the show, for the whole set.

Heartless Bastards ROCKED. The volume was turned up loud and the band were putting all their energy into their performance. Singer Erika Wennerstrom has a brilliant, deep, EPIC voice. She kind of growls and howls out her lyrics with a drawl while slamming at her guitar, with the distortion cranked up high. The drummer was fantastic and the pedal steel guitar during title track from their last record, The Mountain, was gorgeous. They played for maybe half an hour, I wish they could have played longer. I really enjoyed their set and I’m so glad I got to see them, I’ll definately be trying to catch their next London show.

I loved their record that they released last year. Check out The Mountain and go see them live when they’re next here. Myspace is here.

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Heartless Bastards: The Mountain at ACL

I saw the Heartless Bastards tonight and they were brilliant. I’ll review the show later. Erika has such a great voice!  And pedal steel to kill you with:

She’s great because she constantly sings like she’s about to explode or something. So much energy in her voice! Great.

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So Quiet

This is one of my favourite songs from Heartless Bastard’s album The Mountain. So much soul in that voice! Beautiful. Alessi and I met up yesterday and drew what Erika would look like if she was a Pez dispenser. Needless to say, it was pretty amazing.

Listen to Heartless Bastards, Myspace here. Clicky clicky.

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Hold Your Head High!

So. The way I am with albums is that when I listen to them for the first time I think it’s really important to listen to them in order and not skip tracks or anything. Just sit and listen. But when you have a song you’re really excited to hear it’s hard to resist skipping to that track, but NO! That’s cheating. You have to wait. Be patient (!!!). I get really excited when other people are excited about music, I wish I had the ability to get everyone as excited as I am about the albums I love. It’s the same with live acts, when someone raves about a band it makes me excited to see them. Basically, I spend most of my time in quite an excitable state.

Anyway, the weekend before last Alessi was telling me about this amazing song by Heartless Bastards called Hold Your Head High and she was really excited about it and sang some of the song and then I got pretty excited to hear it (circle of excitement, you see) and endevoured to listen to the album as soon as I could. Then at work on Thursday I was telling my friend Rich about being excited by this band and wanting to hear the album, and because he is amazing he brought me in a nice shiny shrink wrapped copy of the album the next day. I unwrapped it and had a look at the tracklist. There was the song, track four! I could hear Alessi’s version in my head and imagine her being all swoony (the same kind of swoony I get with Scary Mansion etc etc) and wanted to get straight to that track, but that breaks my first-time-album-listening rules and I had to resist the urge to dive in to track four.

The first three tracks were a blast, I had listened to the first and title track, The Mountain, before. But it was especially wonderful to get to track four, Hold Your Head High. It was as lovely as Alessi said. I have trouble sitting still at the best of times (I feel sorry for anyone who sits around me) but I think it is actually physically impossible to sit still whilst listing to Heartless Bastards. The whole record is beautiful, it’s so rich. I have only just had time to put it on my ipod today, but now it’s there I’m sure I’ll listen to it several more times in the next few days. Another track that particularly caught my ear is So Quiet. Erika Wennerstrom has such a powerful voice. Amazing. 

If you’re having a bad day or a good day or if you just woke up, or if you’re going to bed, listen to this song. It could be just the thing you needed to hear. There’s a great video of the band playing it in a studio. Watch watch watch. Be excited! Yay.


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Heartless Bastards- The Mountain

Alessi is always saying how amazing Heartless Bastards are. I think their name is a bit un-friendly. Anyway, I have been so so so busy this past month I haven’t had much time to investigate things straight away. I’ve had a passing listen to the band before, I intended to catch them at Pure Groove (but then I had my, now pointless, maths exam that day). So, fast forward to July. Here we are in the month of July. Mid-July, no less. Two months since they played at Pure Groove. Where have those two months escaped to? Time has been so warped this year. There are tiers of likelihood in terms of whether I will get around to listening to something…

If you are one of those frustrating PRs or one of the bands themselves who email me with a generic ‘hi there….’ email asking me to listen to your band, it’s probably going to take me a long time before I get round to it. If you write me a nice email then I’m more likely. If you write me a handwritten note then I’ll like you alot and probably try sooner. If you make me a mix cd with a handwritten tracklist then you win and I will listen as soon as possible. Alessi is a winner, she knows where it’s at. She put The Mountain on there and I listened with my full attention and it was lovely.

Singer Erika Wennerstrom has a beautiful, low voice and there are sweet slide guitar. Mmm, tasty music. Here is their Myspace. Also, because I am kind of stubborn, I reluctantly listen to music by bands who I know I’ve missed the opportunity to see recently, because it makes me feel a bit sad. But, it’s worth it! Listen, listen, listen.

And here is The Mountain, which is the title track from the band’s latest record:

I’ll investigate the album as soon as I can.

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