Once again, Boston proves itself to be a vibrant incubator for folk and roots-based artists who are taking music into adventurous new realms. Add Laura Cortese & The Dance Cards – Jenna Moynihan (fiddle), Valerie Thompson (cello), and Natalie Bohrn (bass) – to the growing list of exciting, innovative bands coming from the Northeast.
With Laura Cortese (a seasoned “sideman”) at the helm as bandleader and driving force behind the group, the quartet is set to release their debut album, ‘California Calling’ on Compass Records later this fall.
For the lead track, “The Low Hum,” Cortese says: “We went on an arranging retreat up to Montreal in January of 2016 to explore music for the first ever Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards studio album. Valerie was freshly out of the hospital after having foot surgery and was recuperating in one room while Jenna, Natalie and I started talking about the absurd experiences of our day including getting someone with a broken foot up three flights of snowy Montreal stairs and breaking the key to our hosts house off in their door. Jenna had brought a banjo on the retreat in the hopes of challenging herself on this new instrument so we decided to create the basis for the song on the banjo. Jenna came up with a riff while Natalie and I started to sing the verse melody. We gravitated towards singing the verses in three-part harmony. When it came time to work on the chorus we decided to wait for Valerie’s input. Months later, on another writing retreat in Iceland with all four of us ready and able, we hashed out the chorus and the arrangement.”
Further she says, “This video was shot in an apartment in Sodermalm Stockholm on a sunny day off on our Swedish tour by musician, sound engineer and videographer Petter Berndalen. We are totally enamored with the ethereal quality Petter captured on video to suit the song.”
Look for ‘California Calling’ due out in early October on Compass Records. Pre-order available HERE.