LISTEN: The Wandering Hearts Find ‘the Power of Three’ in ‘Nothing Breaks Like a Heart’ Cover [Exclusive Premiere]
During the back half of 2018, the Wandering Hearts were coming off a whirlwind year. At the encouragement of their high-profile champion Marty Stuart, the British group came to Nashville, where in the span of just one week, they hit three legendary stages: the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry and the Bluebird Cafe.
Returning home to the UK after that trip and another one for AmericanaFest 2018, the four-piece was on a high, and launched straight into their next chapter. "We didn't stop," the group's Tara Wilcox tells The Boot. "We went straight into festivals and touring, and then we had our own amazing, massive headlining tour, and we were writing at the same time. There was tons and tons of momentum."
At the end of the year, however, a major change shook up the group: They split from one of their members, Tim Prottey-Jones, and made the decision to move forward as a trio. The band states that they can't talk about the split at the moment, as things are being worked out, but say, “Bands do change over time and we want to wish Tim all the best going forward.”
The Wandering Hearts are using the word "freedom" a lot these days, although they don't relate that directly to their former fourth member's departure. More accurately, the group is finding freedom in the streamlined solidarity of singing as a trio.
"It feels like the power of three really is the one," says Chess Whiffin. Adds Wilcox, "The three of our voices blend really well, and we are enjoying exploring the sonics as a trio."
As they turned their attention toward making new music as a trio, the Wandering Hearts tried something a little different: a cover song. The group re-imagined Mark Ronson and Miley Cyrus' "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart," in a powerful, lush new rendition that they're premiering exclusively for readers of The Boot. Press play below to listen.
"It was the first time we went into the studio as three," Dean-Revington says of recording the track. "And it was probably the maddest, most experimental thing we'd done up to that point, in the studio. It's a cover, but it's by no means a straight cover."
The group admits that they were initially hesitant to record a song that wasn't an original. However, as they began to imagine the creative possibilities in their own version, they thought about how the most iconic cover songs cease to become "covers," and instead take on a new role as a separate version of the original track.
"You never think, 'Oh, do you remember that cover by that person?' You go, 'It's that version of that song,'" Whiffin explains of cover performances that stand the test of time. "And sometimes you think it is the song, but you don't realize it's a cover."
"I was so set against it, too, but I tell you what, that was because we were doing more a straight cover of the song," Dean-Revington continues. "It was when we started to mix it around and change it, suddenly I was a complete convert."
Whiffin adds that recording "Nothing Breaks Like a Heart" was a collaborative effort that helped the group realize how they worked as a trio, as they began gearing up to start working on new original music. "It was a really great learning curve for how we would go into starting to record the album. We started to realize what we were really capable of as three," she says.
Meet All of The Boot's 2019 Artists to Watch