The Bittersweet Constrain

by JILL TRACY

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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Prefer digital downloads but still want some cool autographed artwork?
    Now have the best of both worlds with full size stickers of the album cover art, each autographed, and each containing a download code for the entire album! Set of 3 includes "The Bittersweet Constrain," Into the Land of Phantoms," and "Diabolical Streak."
    Makes a perfect gift...

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Bittersweet Constrain via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 10 days

      $25 USD or more 

     

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Gorgeous digipak design with 12-panel full color lyrics booklet, featuring portraits of Jill Tracy by renowned photographer Michael Garlington.

    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

      $20 USD or more 

     

  • THE IMMORTAL COLLECTION —limited edition antique coffin USB: ENTIRE disography, plus unreleased tracks and full NOSFERATU film with Jill Tracy score
    USB Flash Drive + Digital Album

    Is the secret to eternity to be found within the confines of a miniature coffin? —Or perhaps the Jill Tracy music, filmscores, and even Nosferatu himself lurking within. This collection even comes with a tiny portable crucifix— just in case.

    The Immortal Collection includes:
    Jill Tracy's entire discography of albums and singles, the full Nosferatu FILM (F.W. Murnau) with original score by Jill Tracy and The Malcontent Orchestra! This has NEVER been offered before.
    Plus The Musical Seance collaborations with violinist Paul Mercer and the dark classical "Bela Lugosi's Dead" with Bauhaus' David J. Even the Christmas record Silver Smoke, Star of Night.
    PLUS 3 new unreleased tracks, including "The Colour of the Flame" (a Swedish 7" split with Blixa Bargeld), lots of photos, and more.
    Also included the revised Nosferatu score as an audio file. The 2002 album Into the Land of Phantoms is only "selections" from the score. But hey, you get that TOO!

    The unlocked drive is 4GB, so you can use it for your own storage!

    JILL TRACY The Immortal Collection. What you get:

    F.W. Murnau's NOSFERATU (1922)— the entire classic silent vampire film with critically acclaimed score by Jill Tracy and The Malcontent Orchestra

    Full revised synched NOSFERATU score as an additional audio file.

    albums:
    The Bittersweet Constrain
    BENEATH: The Bittersweet Constrain
    Into the Land of Phantoms
    Diabolical Streak
    Quintessentially Unreal
    Silver Smoke, Star of Night

    singles:
    Under the Fate of the Blue Moon
    Lament for the Queen of Disks
    ***The Crown Descends
    ***Twelve Upon the 11th Hour
    ***The Colour of the Flame
    (***brand new)

    collaborations:
    "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (Undead is Forever)— with David J of Bauhaus
    "Coronation of the Witch Queen" parts II and III — with violinist Paul Mercer
    "NERVOUS96" (Bill Domonkos film score)— with violinist Paul Mercer

    NOTE: Miniature crucifix included to ward off any residual vampires.

    LIMITED SUPPLY. Order now!

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

    Sold Out

1.
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
2.
Sell My Soul 04:33
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?
3.
Room 19 05:47
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
4.
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
5.
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
6.
grey #11 01:00
7.
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
8.
Torture 05:55
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
9.
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
10.
11.
Petrified 04:27
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
12.
Treasure 06:12
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

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


"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.

Jill Tracy reveals in an interview with Culture Flux Magazine that “the theme to The Bittersweet Constrain is how we, as humans of our own free will, put ourselves into cages. We spend years building up cages for ourselves, and at the same time we are miserable feeling trapped inside them. But they are self created… Freedom can be a frightening thing, so often people will choose to remain constrained.”

credits

released June 11, 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

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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

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