The Wood Brothers on Wednesday kicked off the rollout of their latest studio album, Heart is the Hero, with the release of the album’s first single, “Pilgrim”.

“A song like ‘Pilgrim’ is all about slowing down and paying attention,” explained singer/guitarist Oliver Wood in a press statement. “I’d heard somebody compare being a pilgrim to being a tourist. If you’re a tourist, you’re just distracted and partying. It’s a different intention than a pilgrim. A pilgrim, the way I think about it, is somebody on a spiritual mission, smelling every flower on the path and really letting your soul catch up with you. It’s that ‘being still’ thing and trying to be present. It’ll get you further in terms of being happy [than] hauling ass, swiping, scrolling and consuming all of the time.”

Related: Oliver Wood Talks Logic Vs. Inspiration, The Virtue Of Openness, & Why He’s Always Smilin’ [Interview]

The track has a quintessentially “Wood Brothers” sound, building on Oliver’s distinctive howl and Chris Wood‘s chugging bass line with a simple backbeat and tasteful piano flourishes from multi-instrumentalist Jano Rix as the train barrels down a sunny, scenic track. “Pilgrim” may have just arrived today, but by the final, anthemic chorus, you’ll be singing along with The Wood Brothers’ hair-raising three-part harmony like you’ve known the words forever: “Better slow down, ’cause a soul can’t travel that fast.”

Like the rest of Heart is the Hero, “Pilgrim” was recorded completely analog to 16-track tape. The Wood Brothers’ intention with this approach was to give themselves “less-is-more” creative limitations, to capture performances that had the spirit and magic of their live shows rather than perfecting and ultimately sanitizing the music with the infinite options afforded by the modern recording process. The strategy also connects back to themes of being in the moment and trusting your heart that run through the entire ten-track set.

“I’m looking forward to going on the road with these new songs from Heart is the Hero and seeing how they evolve from night to night when performed in front of audiences,” added Chris Wood. “The recording process for this album was completely different from our last one, Kingdom In My Mind, where we had all the time in the world to experiment, tinker, and shape performances. For those sessions, I was living in Nashville close to Oliver and Jano, but I’ve since relocated to Canada, so our time to record together this time around had to be extremely focused and intentional. I think those limitations actually added something special. The end results feel raw, honest, immediate, and vulnerable, more so than any other record we’ve made to date.”

Heart Is The Hero, the forthcoming album from The Wood Brothers, is currently available to pre-save/pre-order on vinyl, CD, and digital formats here ahead of its April 14th release. Listen to “Pilgrim” today on the platform of your choice here or stream it via the player below. Scroll down to watch the official album trailer for Heart is the Hero.

The Wood Brothers – “Pilgrim”

The Wood Brothers – Heart is the Hero

With the new album waiting in the wings, The Wood Brothers have wasted no time hitting the road in 2023. The band last week completed a West Coast tour with sold-out shows in San Diego, Bend, Seattle, and Portland. The trio will get back on the road at the end of February for dates across the Northeast and Southeast followed by a spring tour that extends across the Mountain States, Great Plains, and Texas. In May, The Wood Brothers will embark on a 20-date summer tour in the Midwest and Northeast with special guests Shovels & Rope. Tickets for all shows are on sale now via the band’s website. Click below for a full list of upcoming dates.

The Wood Brothers 2023 Tour Dates

2/24 – North Little Rock, AR – Simmons Bank Arena ^
2/25 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center ^
3/1 – Lexington, KY – Lexington Opera House
3/2 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
3/3 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
3/4 – Ithaca, NY – State Theatre
3/6 – Westerly, RI – The United Theatre
3/8 – Harrisburg, PA – XL Live
3/9 – Rocky Mount, VA – Harvester Performance Center (Sold Out)
3/10 – Winston-Salem, NC – The Ramkat
3/11 – Chattanooga, TN – Walker Theatre
4/11- Scottsdale, AZ – Virginia G. Piper Theater – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
4/12 – Flagstaff, AZ – Orpheum Theater
4/14 – Beaver Creek, CO – Vilar Performing Arts Center
4/15 – Denver, CO – Mission Ballroom
4/17- Salina, KS – The Stiefel Theatre for the Performing Arts
4/18 – Fayetteville, AK – JJ’s Live
4/20 – Tulsa, OK – Cain’s Ballroom
4/21- Tilmon, TX – Old Settler’s Music Festival
4/22 – Houston, TX – The Heights Theater
4/23 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater
5/10 – Peoria, IL – Premier Event Center *
5/11 – Chicago, IL – The Salt Shed *
5/12 – Minneapolis, MN – Utepils Brewing Co. *
5/13 – Milwaukee, WI – Riverside Theater *
5/15 – Akron, OH – Goodyear Theater *
5/16 – Cincinnati, OH – Taft Theatre *
5/18 – Atlanta, GA – The Eastern *
5/19 – Raleigh, NC – North Carolina Museum of Art *
5/20 – Washington, DC – The Anthem *
5/21 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre *
6/7 – Portland, ME – State Theatre *
6/8 – Boston, MA – Roadrunner *
6/9 – New York, NY – The Rooftop at Pier 17 *
6/10 – Accord, NY – Arrowood Farms *
6/11 – Fairport, NY – Perinton Center Park Amphitheater *
6/13 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall *
6/15 – Charlottesville, VA – Ting Pavilion *
6/16 – Williamsburg, VA – Virginia Arts Festival’s Williamsburg Live *
6/17 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mountain View Amphitheatre *
6/18 – Grand Rapids, MI – venue TBA *
6/24 – Greenfield, MA – Green River Festival
8/18-20 – Wellston, MA – Hoxeyville Music Festival – Wellston, MI

^ w/ The Avett Brothers & Turnpike Troubadours
* w/ Shovels & Rope

View Tour Dates