The Crane Wives – Bitter Medicine

The Crane Wives by Hwa JeenNa

Today, Grand Rapids, Michigan based indie rock band The Crane Wives share upbeat, introspective track and official video “Bitter Medicine” where the group embraces imperfection.

The self-produced, rousing fifth studio album Beyond Beyond Beyond is due out September 6.

Beyond Beyond Beyond

Plus, The Crane Wives have announced a new fall leg of their tour starting with the official album release show on release day in Grand Rapids, MI. Get tickets this Friday, July 12 at 10 AM local time here and catch them in the midst of their summer tour through August.

Despite its driving, upbeat guitar riffs and playful energy, “Bitter Medicine,” out today, is an ode to impostor syndrome, the internalized shame of having others look up to you for guidance on a subject you feel like you’re failing at. Drummer Dan Rickabus and bassist Ben Zito create a bouncing groove that turns the self-deprecating lyrics into a cathartic confession: “don’t look up to me.”

Vocalist and guitarist Emilee Petersmark shares, “For me, songwriting has always been a safe place for honesty and vulnerability. ‘Bitter Medicine’ is one of many songs on this record that explores what it means to be an imperfect person making imperfect choices.” Pondering her place in the world, particularly as a person with a young audience, Petersmark adds, “The older I get, the more I feel the weight of younger people’s eyes, and I often find myself questioning if I am the kind of person that deserves to be a role model. This song touches on the insecurity that comes with that line of questioning, and the acceptance that maybe the answer is ‘no’.”

The artful black-and-white accompanying video, directed by Jackson Ezinga, opens with Petersmark alone in a pristine and minimal environment. As the story progresses, their environment has been overtaken by an ominous presence and Petersmark is almost consumed by it. It’s only with the help of their friends that they are able to make it out and battle these negative feelings together.

On how he envisioned the music and what pulled him towards creating the visual, Ezinga says “I was drawn to ‘Bitter Medicine’’s visceral and poignant lyrics about self doubt and imposter syndrome. These feelings have a sticky and invasive quality that are hard to shake. I began to visualize these feelings as a creeping presence that slowly appears and then rapidly takes over. I saw the “tentacles” and bouncing balloons as representing these negative feelings and how these feelings can sometimes explode and make a mess. Due to the psychological nature of the lyrics and concept, I saw this video as a moving Rorschach Test which is why I decided to shoot the video in black and white to focus on shapes, patterns, and movement.”

Ezinga continues, “It’s scary when dark thoughts begin to take over which is why I drew from classic horror movie imagery, like the ‘Nightmare On Elm Street’ ‘bed swallowing’ sequence.” Overall, says Ezinga, “We’re stronger together and we shouldn’t have to battle dark and negative emotions and thoughts on our own.”

The Crane Wives

Live Across North America

Summer 2024

07/15 – Axis Club – Toronto, ON

07/16 – Club Saw – Ottawa, ON

07/17 – La Sala Rosa – Montreal, QC

07/19 – Higher Ground Ballroom – Burlington, VT

07/20 – State Theatre – Portland, ME

07/21 – Royale – Boston, MA

07/23 –  Lark Hall – Albany, NY

07/24 – Space Ballroom – Hamden, CT (SOLD OUT)

07/26 – Levon Helm Studio – Woodstock, NY

07/27 – Iron Works – Buffalo, NY

07/28 – Mr Small’s – Pittsburgh, PA

08/15 – The Black Sheep – Colorado Springs, CO

08/16 – Washington’s – Fort Collins, CO

08/17 – Gothic Theatre – Denver, CO

08/18 – Strings Pavilion – Steamboat Springs, CO

08/20 – Soundwell SLC – Salt Lake City, UT

08/21 – Treefort Music Hall – Boise, ID

08/23 – Wonder Ball Room – Portland, OR

08/24 – South Sound Block Party – Olympia, WA

08/29 – Sonic Lunch – Ann Arbor, MI

Fall 2024

9/6 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Intersection

10/14 – Oklahoma City, OK – Beer City Music Hall

10/15 – Dallas, TX – Echo Lounge & Music Hall

10/16 – Houston, TX – The Heights Theater

10/18 – San Antonio, TX – Paper Tiger

10/19 – Austin, TX – Mohawk

10/20 – Fort Worth, TX – Tannahill’s

10/24 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bow

10/25 – San Diego, CA – The Observatory North Park

10/26 – Pioneertown, CA – Pappy & Harriet’s

10/28 – Los Angeles, CA – The Fonda

10/29 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory

11/01 – Santa Cruz, CA – The Catalyst Club

11/02 – San Francisco – The Fillmore

11/03 – Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades


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