The album finds the group drawing on their extensive string music background and knowledge of folk and roots music, incorporating dance-worthy foundational grooves, synth, and loops to push the boundaries of the genre.
Inspired by the resilience of friends in California who lost their homes following the 2018 wildfires, San Francisco native Laura Cortese wrote this autobiographical song.
“‘From the Ashes’ came from me thinking about all the ways things are torn down and rebuilt, including ourselves, in a lifetime,” she says.
“In fall 2017, we toured through California weeks after the Tubbs fire that combined with high winds burned more than 36,810 acres and destroyed over 5,643 structures, including four friends’ home,” says Cortese. “What surprised me most was the resilience and strength I witnessed in these friends as they set out to rebuild their lives.
As we sit here confined to our apartments and houses, I’m again struck by how quickly people have aimed for solidarity. What can we do for our neighbors? Are we calling our friends who live alone to make sure they aren’t truly isolated? Hundreds of online festivals have popped up intending to support artists & venue staff as well as bring a bit of joy into each other’s day.”
BITTER BETTER showcases Cortese and multi-instrumentalist producer Sam Kassirer (Lula Wiles, Lake Street Dive) striving to capture the most adventurous approach to each moment. While the album’s 11 tracks provide relief and release, they also encourage self-examination and personal discovery—the work that is necessary to sustain the energy needed to keep striving, to connect, and to continue to make our complicated world a better place.
With BITTER BETTER, Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards throw out the rule book, creating a beautifully vivid, musically unexpected canvas from their refreshingly unconventional perspective. The band has been invited to support both Mary Chapin Carpenter and The Mountain Goats on fall tour dates.