By Brenna Ehrlich
Erika Wennerstrom of the Heartless Bastards fame recently went solo with the release of her Ayahuasca-laced solo album, Sweet Unknown, out now via Partisan Records. Today, TIDAL has the exclusive release of her fittingly and gorgeously trippy video for the track “Extraordinary Love,” directed by Laura Wallgren.
Check out the video below, as well as Wennerstrom’s album, which was written after a bout of experimentation on her part. “I went down to the Amazon jungle in 2015 right before the last Heartless Bastards record, Restless Ones, was released,” the musician says. “I was at a point where I was deeply unhappy, and on a whim, I decided to do an Ayahuasca [pronounced eye-uh-wah-ska] retreat. Despite the idea frightening me, I felt I needed something to change within me so badly that I had nothing to lose. It really opened the door and started me on a path to many self realizations.”
Wennerstrom on the video… The prospect of working with [director] Laura Wallgren was really exciting to me. She has been a great friend of mine for a long time now. She is always working on other directors’ projects, but I know she has such creative ideas of her own. We have taken a lot of trips out to West Texas together and have a real bond with our mutual love of that region and its landscape. Since I wrote quite a bit of the album out there, it felt like a very fitting location to shoot the video. We shot most of it in the ghost town of Terlingua.
Wallgren on the video… When Erika asked me to direct the video, I immediately thought of West Texas. We’ve taken many road trips out there together and the strangeness and vastness of the desert resonated with me and the message of the song. I wanted to share the distance that Erika has traveled within herself. She’s been on a long journey of the mind and heart, and I wanted the video to visually express her choice to open the door to the unknown, and how brave I think that is. This is her first solo album, and I wanted to represent that independence. And of course, I also just wanted to play in the dirt with my friends.
(Photo credit: Linda Beecroft)