V.19 No.19 | 5/13/2010
Erika Wennerstrom’s musical osmosis
If you were to lasso the simple, heartfelt punk of Patti Smith, mash it together with droning guitars and send it down the Mississippi river to be peppered with soul, you might end up with Heartless Bastards. The band formed in the mid-aughts in Dayton, Ohio—hometown of Guided By Voices, The Breeders and Brainiac. Heartless Bastards is led by Erika Wennerstrom and distinguished by her voice's deep, velvety, slightly ramshackle qualities. Wennerstrom, who now makes her home in Austin, says she learned to sing by trying to emulate her idols and out popped her own voice.