Independent Americana artist Hope Dunbar is premiering her new song “Better Than Ever” exclusively for readers of The Boot. The track features singer-songwriter Darrell Scott; readers can press play below to listen.

“Better Than Ever” was written by Dunbar as she made her way back to California, ahead of playing her very first show in her hometown of Utica, Neb., in front of all her friends and family.

“I thought about all the people who would be in that room that night who knew me since I was a child," Dunbar tells The Boot, "and reflected on how many joys and sorrows we had all lived through together and how the years had changed and shaped us. And I wrote them this song.”

A student and friend of singer-songwriter Darrell Scott, Dunbar is joined by her teacher on the quiet, contemplative "Better Than Ever."

“When I wrote this song, I kept hearing his voice sing it in my head, and so I wrote him and told him so. To my surprise he responded positively, asked for the lyrics, and we started to plan when he could sing on it,” Dunbar says. “To have someone whose work and wisdom I value so highly sing on one of my songs is a dream come true. It's a gift and an honor that I don't take lightly.

"The first time I heard our voices together I got teary-eyed," Dunbar adds. "And then I played it again to make sure it was real.”

“Better Than Ever” will appear on Dunbar’s forthcoming album, Three Black Crows, set for release on Oct. 6. Fans can visit to learn more about Dunbar and her upcoming record.

Listen to Hope Dunbar Feat. Darrell Scott, "Better Than Ever":

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