The Bittersweet Constrain

by JILL TRACY

supported by
/
  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Gorgeous digipak design with 12-panel full color lyrics booklet, featuring portraits of Jill Tracy by renowned photographer Michael Garlington. The CD will be autographed, inscribed however you wish. (Please specify when ordering.) This package also includes: Jill Tracy sticker, 1.25" round buttons, and glossy Jill Tracy "The Bittersweet Constrain" postcard. Makes a perfect gift.

    Also includes immediate download of 12-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
    ships out within 14 days

     $20 USD or more

     

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Gorgeous digipak design with 12-panel full color lyrics booklet, featuring portraits of Jill Tracy by renowned photographer Michael Garlington. Plus a glossy Jill Tracy "The Bittersweet Constrain" postcard.

    Also includes immediate download of 12-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
    ships out within 10 days

     $13 USD or more

     

  • Jill Tracy collaborated with renowned outsider photographer Michael Garlington for "The Bittersweet Constrain." These are some of her favorites from the series, shot in sepia on vintage film stock. Photos are printed on 8x10 glossy paper, and inscribed however you wish (please specify when ordering.)

    Also includes immediate download of 0-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
    ships out within 10 days

     $13 USD or more

     

  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

     $8.99 USD  or more

     

1.
2.
04:33
3.
05:47
4.
5.
6.
01:00
7.
8.
05:55
9.
10.
11.
04:27
12.
06:12

about

Jill Tracy will transport you into a seductive and magical realm far beyond the Everyday. The place where we wished we lived. A dark, elegant netherworld full of hidden passageways, wonder cabinets, and opium dens. Of monsters, marvels and mayhem. You know it's not safe here; but with Jill Tracy as your guide, you'll be in no hurry to leave.

Hailed a “femme fatale for the thinking man,” by San Francisco Chronicle, Jill Tracy was described by NPR's All Things Considered as "utterly intriguing, transporting you into a magical world solely of her creation."

LA Weekly has deemed her "the cult darling of the Underworld."


"I feel that I need to be a beacon for people, and allow them into the swampy place in their souls where the sinister and sensual meet," Jill Tracy explains in a recent interview in TOR.

"It's my purpose to perpetuate the long-lost magic, allow people to slip into the cracks, to pry up the floorboards and search deeply. Believe. Imagine. It’s so important to hold on to that childlike sense of marvel."

Read the full Jill Tracy interview here: bit.ly/jilltracyTOR



FROM THE PRESS:

"It's nice to have discovered another artist of depth and substance, especially in an age where it's easy to feel that almost none still exist... Jill Tracy: "the elegant side of the netherworld" --maybe "netherworld" has replaced "underground" now. No wonder (Jello) Biafra had raved to me about her. The new music of the future will give us history lessons, and restore to us our lost authentic emotionality, in an age which J.G. Ballard has described as "the death of affect." The death of authentic emotionality and emotional response, indeed... NOT YET - not as long as a handful of people like Jill Tracy, Jello Biafra, Nick Cave, Henry Rollins, and Lydia Lunch keep "kicking against the pri-cks" (to paraphrase Shakespeare). And handing us reasons to still keep living and deciphering what we really feel..."
V. VALE, RE/Search PUBLICATIONS


"Few things are finer than drowning in anticipation for a new album -- having that album arrive and, most importantly, having that album more than satisfy said anticipation. "The Bittersweet Constrain" is wonderfully dark, mischievous and mesmerizing... twilight tales of spurned love, untimely ends and thoughts lost in the shadows, slowly creeping unseen and meaning to not merely embrace, but drag us down into those oh-so-wrong exalted states. What a bloody good record."
L'ENNUI MÉLODIEUX



"There's just something about the inimitable Jill Tracy that makes us swoon like a passel of naive gothic horror heroines in too-tight corsets. Is it her husky midnight lover's croon, her deceptively delicate visage, her vintage sensibilities? Who else could have written the definitive elegy on the "fine art of poisoning," composed a hauntingly lush live score for F.W. Murnau's classic silent film Nosferatu, joined forces with that merry band of bloodthirsty malcontents, Thrillpeddlers, and still somehow remain a shining beacon of almost beatific grace? Part tough-as-nails film fatale, part funeral parlor pianist, Tracy manages to adopt many facades yet remain ever and only herself — a precarious and delicious balancing act.”
SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN, Best of the Bay awards issue



"More noir than cabaret, Jill Tracy's "The Bittersweet Constrain" is a mesmerizing example of a musical endeavor that lives and breathes its own atmosphere. Like a trip down the back alleys of a metropolis in decline, you never know where the album is taking you; like an audio flaneur, you may find yourself strolling by the scene of a crime ("Room 19"), finding decadent delight in Faustian bargains ("Sell My Soul"), or becoming obsessed with fatal longing ("In Between Shades"). By turns seductive, dangerous, and knowing, Tracy's voice is pure chanteuse, irresistible even in the face of the beckoning downward spiral. Colored lightly in the hues of torch song and morbid nightclub songbird, the album takes its time to unfold, lulling you with waves of dissolute dreams as it subtly pulls you under the tide. Backed by her own tenebrous piano and a host of musicians dubbed The Malcontent Orchestra, "The Bittersweet Constrain" is a very dark album that avoids unnecessary bleakness. Though the record contains paeans to the barbarity of torture devices and other metaphoric references to the torments of love and lust, the raw emotional hunger of Tracy's voice indicates that the agony of "the bittersweet constrain" is, inevitably, all we have. A downbeat ending fit for the rain-drenched, black-and-white conclusion of a noir thriller to be sure, but with music as compelling as this, it is a proposition difficult to argue against."
LIAR SOCIETY


"The music of Jill Tracy is something wholly unique, alluring, and as others have said before me, otherworldly. It is not some bland tune slapped together in order to stay in step with the latest musical fad, it is not lyrics that have been packaged to appeal to the most possible paying customers at the cost of their original integrity, but most importantly, it is not like anything you have ever heard before. It's absolute bliss. There may be plenty of other cabaret singers out there today, and many of them might have real talent and soul, but not a single one of them will ever be Jill Tracy."
B. SHELBY, review


"The Bittersweet Constrain" is Jill Tracy's fourth release.

credits

released 11 June 2008

words and music by Jill Tracy

The Malcontent Orchestra:
Jill Tracy: piano, vocals
Randy Odell: drums, percussion, metals
Alex Nahas: Chapman stick, electric bass
Daniel Fabricant: contrabass
Tony Cross: violin, viola, harmonium
Erica Mulkey (Unwoman): cello
Nadine Whitfield: bassoon
Ralph Carney: bass flute, bass clarinet
Kenny Annis: sarod

engineered and produced by Alex Nahas
mastering by A.T. Michael MacDonald, AlgoRhythns, New York

photography by Michael Garlington
graphic design by Bill Domonkos
make-up by Meagan Milano
taxidermy from the collection of Tia Resleure

JILLTRACY.com
facebook.com/jilltracymusic
twitter.com/jilltracymusic
myspace.com/jilltracymusic
youtube.com/jilltracymusic

tags

license

all rights reserved

feeds

feeds for this album, this artist

about

JILL TRACY San Francisco, California

Jill Tracy will transport you into a seductive and magical realm far beyond the Everyday. The place where we wished we lived. A dark, elegant netherworld full of hidden passageways, wonder cabinets, and opium dens. Of monsters, marvels and mayhem. You know it’s not safe here; but with Jill Tracy as your guide, you’ll be in no hurry to leave. ... more

contact / help

Contact JILL TRACY

Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem download codes

Track Name: Haunted by the Thought of You
Haunted by the Thought of You
words and music by Jill Tracy

I lock the door and I check it twice
Before I climb the stairs
I see you lurking down below
Underneath the streetlight’s glare
Your footsteps approaching
A shadow cloaks the room
I revel in this nightmare
But I keep waking up too soon

Over and over again
I keep imagining
Over and over again
I fear it’s true
Over and over again
Am I still haunted
Haunted by the thought of you

Your dark eyes peering
Through the wallpaper’s design
You live in all the constellations
Or have I lost my mind
In the bottom of a bottle
Reflected in a spoon
I feel you right behind me
But did I just turn around too soon

Over and over again
I keep imagining
Over and over again
I fear it’s true
Over and over again
Am I still haunted
Haunted by the thought of you

Do you believe in Destiny or are you merely testing me

Over and over again
I keep imagining
Over and over again
I fear it’s true
Over and over again
Am I still haunted
Haunted by the thought of you
Track Name: Sell My Soul
Sell My Soul
words and music by Jill Tracy

Trick me with your pretty things
Black horses with their silver wings
The halos in the sky are calling me again
You reign under a broken crown
Archangel of the underground
The quicksand in your eyes is taking me down

Could you be the one I sell my soul to
Could you be the one who falls from grace
Could you be the one you’ve got me falling apart again
Or is it falling into place?

Glass snakes on the windowpane
Tremble in the pouring rain
Come wrap your cloven foot upon my high-heeled throne
Captivate the sweet machine
Surrender to the offering
Ashes and alibis, we all go down

Could you be the one I sell my soul to
Could you be the one who falls from grace
Could you be the one you’ve got me falling apart again
Or is it falling into place?
Or is it falling into place?

Under the rocks and stones I’ll find you
Beneath the bottom of below
Under the rocks and stones I’m waiting
Could you be the one
Could you be the one

Could you be the one I sell my soul to
Could you be the one who falls from grace
Could you be the one you’ve got me falling apart again
Or is it falling
Or is it falling

Could you be the one?
Track Name: Room 19
Room 19
words and music by Jill Tracy

There are stains on the walls that won’t come clean
Mementos of his final scene
The plaster is peeling skin that’s gone grey
The door stays locked to keep Time away

The abandoned spoil of love and despair
Gideon’s Bible and an old black chair
And an object he thought could steer him from harm
But it was written in the stars

And outside they were singing
The lights of Christmas Eve
But he’s lost in the darkness
Dreams are never what they seem
Locked in Room 19

The secrets are buried in this musty cell
Only the whispering curtains and the floorboards tell
No more sorrow in this ill-fated life
His voyage will set sail tonight

And outside they were singing
The lights of Christmas Eve
But he’s lost in the darkness
Dreams are never what they seem
Locked in Room 19

And he’s still waiting for his ship to come in
He’s still longing for what could have been

He’s still waiting
Locked in Room 19
He’s still waiting
He’s still waiting
Track Name: The Water Flows So Slow
The Water Flows So Slow
words and music by Jill Tracy

Immerse me headfirst
and I’ll never be afraid
Just roll me over
While the undercurrents rage
Just give me something
I can hold onto

The tide is calling
I’ve never seen a night like this
I’m through pretending
Within this calculated bliss
I’m praying for something
Worth fighting for

How come I’m sinking so fast
With such a long long way to go
Sinking so fast
And still the water flows so slow

The restless ocean
And the souls that breathe within
I’m tired of treading
When there’s someplace else to swim
I’m praying for something
Worth drowning for

How come I’m sinking so fast
With such a long long way to go
Sinking so fast
And still the water flows so slow

Immerse me headfirst
And I’ll never be afraid
Just roll me over
While the undercurrents rage
Just give me something
I’m still waiting for something

How come I’m sinking so fast
With such a long long way to go
Sinking so fast
And still the water flows so slow
Track Name: I Can't Shake It
I Can’t Shake it
words and music by Jill Tracy


No medicine for this malady
No snake oil, no gris gris
There’s no magic potion, no afterglow
No backstage exit
To some secret show

And I’m screaming at these four walls
Shivering from the thought

That I just can’t shake it baby
Because the words intoxicate me
I won’t surrender from this state I’m in
Held guilty of magnificent sin
Because I just can’t shake it baby

No sanctuary, no antidote
No saving grace, no Holy Ghost
There’s no diamond powder, no parlour trick
No bloodletting, this one cuts to the quick

And I’m screaming at these four walls
Shivering from it all

And I just can’t shake it baby
Because the words intoxicate me
I won’t surrender from this state I’m in
Held guilty of magnificent sin

No I just won’t let it freeze beneath my fingertips
No I just won’t let it disappear inside of my head
I’m drowning in these words nobody’s ever heard
Sinking so fast, I’m never coming back

And I just can’t shake it baby
Cause there’s no cure today

No I just won’t let it freeze beneath my fingertips
No I just won’t let it disappear inside of my head
I’m drowning in these words nobody’s ever heard
Gathering clouds, I’m never coming down

But I could be good, if you just let me
This big white light shining down
On me
Track Name: In Between Shades
In Between Shades
words and music by Jill Tracy


Hey there Mr. Blue
I know everything you need
Don’t have to scratch the skin
To watch the colors bleed
It gets mangled in translation
Indigo aquamarine

And I’m scraping up the ashes
Just to hold on to the flame
Bending over backwards
Just to stay in the game

Mr. Blue
Let’s pretend it’s all okay now
Let’s pretend it still feels good
Let’s pretend we got this world on a string
Like they promised we would
Mr. Blue

Hey there Mr. Blue
I know everything you are
No need to excavate again
We’ve already dug too far
Cause I’ve been kicked around for so long lately
I wear these wounds upon my sleeve

And I’m scraping up the ashes
Just to resurrect the flame
Bending over backwards
But it all feels the same

Mr. Blue
Let’s pretend it’s all okay now
Let’s pretend it still feels good
Let’s pretend we got this world on a string
Like they promised we would
Mr. Blue
Let’s pretend it all feels fine today
Let’s pretend that I’m not still
Caught in the grey
Making my way
In between shades
I’m just in between shades

Hey there Mr. Blue
I know everything you feel
It’s when we close our eyes
That we can see for real

Mr. Blue
Let’s pretend it’s all okay now
Let’s pretend it still feels good
Let’s pretend we got this world on a string
Like they said that we would
Mr. Blue
Let’s pretend it all feels fine today
Let’s pretend that I’m not still
Caught in the grey
Cause it’s just another day like today
In between shades
Track Name: Torture
Torture
words and music by Jill Tracy

So goes the tale of the Brazen Bull
A strange device designed to kill
Hanging out in the Pillory
Drawn and quartered for the whole town to see
The infliction of the Rack
Boiling oil in great stone vats
Bound and broken on the Wheel
But all I know is how you make me feel today

This torture
Is getting close to you
Torture
The agony I put myself through
Torture
The bittersweet constrain
Torture
For Desire is the cruelest pain

Back in 1585
They’d impale a man alive
Wooden collar and iron truss
Chinese Death of 1000 Cuts
And on the pages in between
They spoke of the Garrote and the Guillotine
Iron Maiden and Little Ease
But all I know is how you make me feel today

This torture
Is getting close to you
Torture
The agony I put myself through
Torture
The bittersweet constrain
Torture
For Desire is the cruelest pain

My mind’s caught in a Brank
And all the ribbons of my skin
Tomorrow ends up in shackles before it even begins
And the tears that fall upon my face
They trickle to the floor
Like water torture falling
Drop by drop by drop by drop by drop by drop by drop

This torture
Is getting close to you
Torture
The agony I put myself through
Torture
The bittersweet constrain
Torture
For Desire is the cruelest pain

And you taught me all about pain
Track Name: Where Shadows Fall
Where Shadows Fall
words and music by Jill Tracy


Night has fallen, and so have we
But seduction deceives us eventually
Between the cracks in the pavement
The end of the line
Measure for measure
Until the very last time

In a dark corner I’m waiting
Where Fate comes to call
In a dark corner I’m waiting
In the place where shadows fall

Bound together, but torn apart at the seams
We’re too soon for sorrow, but too late for dreams
All the edges are frayed now
This means to the end
Promise me one thing
That you’ll never pretend

In a dark corner I’m waiting
Where Fate comes to call
In a dark corner I’m waiting
In the place where shadows fall

Where shadows fall

And this will be the last time
Just promise me one thing
Just promise me one thing

In a dark corner I’m waiting
Where Fate comes to call
It’s our secret salvation
In the place where shadows fall
Where shadows fall
Where shadows fall
Where shadows fall
Track Name: Petrified
Petrified
words and music by Jill Tracy

As dark as Venus and I want you
Huddled close in a corner of the room
Why can’t it always stay like this?

But it starts too late and it ends too soon
Sugar stains and a hangnail moon
Why can’t we always stay like this?

So pretty, so perfect, petrified
Caught forever deep inside this moment in time with you
So pretty, so perfect, petrified
Lost in this moment
Can we exist in this moment …for good?

I don’t care about another day
Hold your breath and we’ll make this one stay
Can you feel my heartbeat in your hand?
Destination lives in your eyes right now
Your skin glows blue and the sweet scent of somehow
Someway, we’ll never let this change

So pretty, so perfect, petrified
Caught forever deep inside this moment in time with you
So pretty, so perfect, petrified
Lost in this moment
Can we exist in this moment …for good?

Cause I want to be so pretty for you
That I want to make you cry
And I’ll show you things that you’ve never dreamed of
And tell you all of the reasons why
Because Time can never catch us if we just never close our eyes
Frozen in this moment I’m alive

And it’s perfect just like this
Track Name: Treasure
Treasure
words and music by Jill Tracy


You’re my treasure and my trouble
You’re the serum and the struggle
You’re a ransom and an outrage
You’re my kingdom in a bird cage

But I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away every time I look at you
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away

You’re my hangman and my hero
You’re perpetual and you’re zero
You’re a rhapsody and a refuge
You’re a dust storm, you’re the deluge baby

But I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away every time I look at you
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away


You’re my treasure and my trouble
You’re the serum and the struggle
You’re the omen and the aftermath
The gallows and the line I’ve cast
You’re the crown of thorns and the wishing well
The zodiac and the carousel
You’re my delusions and my secrets
All the remnants and the regrets
You’re my mortality
You’re everything I’ve ever wanted to be

But I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away every time I look at you
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away every time
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away every time I look at you
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away
I’m just blown away every time

I’m just blown away