On their fifth proper release, 2015’s John Congleton-produced Restless Ones, the scrappy indie heartland-rock concern Heartless Bastards deliver what is at once their most polished and their wildest record to date. The arrangements are more arranged, the guitar layers more layered, the moods moodier and more of a studio construct than ever before. But when the time comes for indie-rock squall, ragged abandon and dissonant roots ambiance – when the time comes to remind listeners that this band was first signed to Fat Possum on a tip from the Black Keys – Restless Ones ups that ante as well.
The Dayton, Ohio native songwriter/guitarist Erika Wennerstrom’s songs remain both sturdy and subtly eccentric, grounded in an implied and updated sense of American myth and mysticism. Her mournful low-register singing often approaches something like roots chant.
With a lineup that is now six years stable, the Austin-based Heartless Bastards hit the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock on Sunday, September 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $25. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street in Woodstock. For more information, call (845) 679-4406 or visit www.bearsvilletheater.com.