The Empty Hearts, a collaboration featuring Elliot Easton of the Cars and Blondie drummer Clem Burke, are releasing The Second Album on Aug. 28. A new single from the LP, “Well, Look at You,” makes its premiere below.
“I have a bit of an odd story about the song,” bassist Andy Babiuk, who spent 30 years in the Chesterfield Kings, tells UCR. “It came to me in a dream. I was backstage at a Rolling Stones show talking to Mick Jagger and he said, ‘I’ve got this song that I think would be good for the Empty Hearts,’ and he sang it to me. I woke up and hummed it onto my iPhone and went back to bed.”
“This one has a classic Southern soul feel, [like a song] with great backup from the Memphis Horns,” Easton notes. “Kind of like a Booker T. & the M.G.’s/Stax-Volt kinda feel. At least that’s what we were going for.”
“It’s a bit of a departure in the sound of the band featuring New York City’s Uptown Horns,“ Burke adds.
As with their 2014 debut, The Second Album is a throwback to the band’s ’60s psychedelic garage-rock influences. Wally Palmar of the Romantics handles lead vocals.
“We wanted to make an album like the ones that really captured our imaginations when we were coming up,” Easton said in a press release. “The sort of record that, when it came out, you’d get together with a few friends, maybe get a buzz on, turn the lights down and listen from beginning to end — like those classic late-’60s records that took you on a little trip.”
The Second Album is on Wicked Cool Records, the label founded by Steven Van Zandt, who also named the band. The LP was co-produced by Ed Stasium, who’s worked on classic records by the Ramones, Talking Heads and Living Colour, as well as the Empty Hearts’ first effort. The album features even more rock royalty: Ringo Starr plays drums on “Remember Days Like These.”
“In a way, it’s given us the Beatles’ seal of approval!” says Burke, who moved to tambourine for the song.