Folk / Americana singer-songwriter Susan Cattaneo is debuting her new song “Bitter Moon” exclusively for readers of The Boot. Press play below to listen.

On “Bitter Moon," Cattaneo is joined by drummer Marco Giovino, mandolin player Jim Henry, bassist Jesse Williams and guitarist Mark Erelli. The track was inspired by love letters that Cattaneo stumbled upon while cleaning out a closet in her home.

“I was struck by the fact that we are different people after we've experienced that first heartbreak,” she tells The Boot. “There is an emotional shift or rite of passage that happens to you once you’ve been through that. I tried to capture that feeling in this song.”

"Bitter Moon" appears on Cattaneo’s forthcoming album, The Hammer & the Heart, inspired by her journey from New Jersey to Nashville to Boston. The record was written over several years, and was also inspired in part by Bruce Springsteen’s The River.

“In [an] interview, [Springsteen] said that after emerging creatively out of the intensity of recording Darkness on the Edge of Town, he felt the need to make a record that represented the full experience of his live shows -- both the serious songs and the fun, party songs,” Cattaneo explains. “I was struck by the parallel to my career: I came from recording Haunted Heart, which was the record where I let all of my skeletons out of the closet, to this group of songs, and I realized that I wanted to create an album that could capture both my upbeat rockers and my slower ballads.”

Originally from New Jersey herself, Cattaneo is an established folk artist and songwriter. Along with her solo efforts, Cattaneo is part of the Boxcar Lilies, with whom she’ll continue to record and tour as she pursues her solo career. These days, she’s based in Boston, Mass., where she is a professor of songwriting at Berklee College of Music.

The Hammer & the Heart is set for release on Aug. 25. Visit for more information.

Listen to Susan Cattaneo, "Bitter Moon":

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