DIABOLICAL STREAK - JILL TRACY
LABEL: Sleight of Hand
TRACK LISTING: Evil Night Together, The Fine Art of Poisoning, Pulling Your Insides Out, Extraordinary, The Proof, Just the Other Side of Pain, You Leave Me Cold, Doomsday Serenade, Precursor #7 (For A Levitation), Diabolical Streak
IMPRESSIONS: Picture if you will in your mind's eye if Edith Piaf was a vampire. No no, that's not quite right. How about if Marianne Faithful was actually a murderous living in a spooky old house at the end of a dark street and she poisoned trick-or-treating children with arsenic-laced Mars bars. No, that's almost right but not quite. Imagine a goth Marlene Dietrich haunting 1920's Berlin. Well, you don't have to imagine it because Jill Tracy's here to show you exactly what all of the above would be like. Termed a "goth-rock cabaret singer-songwriter and pianist", Tracy might be the perfect performer at a party thrown by Edward Gorey in a crumbling old castle. Denise Sullivan of allmusic astutely points out "...it would appear she (Tracy) lives the life of which she sings and isn't just playing dress up (her wan visage would fit nicely onto one of Tim Burton's storyboards)". Indeed, Tracy's languid upright piano playing subtly accompanied with a sparse rhythm section provided by her Malcontent Orchestra creates the aura of a spider woman slowly luring the listener to his/her doom. And we're all quite happy to go as the poison is spiked with sugar. Tracy's musical style is very cinematic and wikipedia lists her influences as the film music of Bernard Herrmann and the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang, the stories of Ray Bradbury (presumably not the science fiction ones), and Rod Serling's TWILIGHT ZONE. The album ends with the sound of a scratchy gramophone record which gives the flavour of early 20th century table-tapping and spiritualism to the already heady atmosphere of Dietrichesque Berlin cabaret in a graveyard. Denise Sullivan adds a witty coda to her description of Jill Tracy by adding "...she might just be who Marilyn Manson turns into when he grows up".
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Evil Night Together, The Fine Art of Poisoning, Pulling Your Insides Out, Extraordinary, Just the Other Side of Pain, You Leave Me Cold, Doomsday Serenade
FACT SHEET: DIABOLICAL STREAK is Jill Tracy's second album. She has been awarded "Best of the Bay" by the San Francisco Bay Chronicle and "Evil Night Together" has been awarded the SIBL international Grand Prize for songwriting. "The Fine Art of Poisoning" was made into an animated short film by Bill Domonkos and was awarded the New Orleans Film Festival's "Best Experimental Film of 2003" and "Best Music Video" by both the 2003 Seattle and Chicago International Film Festivals. Jill Tracy and the Malcontent Orchestra's new score to the 1922 F.W. Murnau film "NOSFERATU" debuted live at the San Francisco Foreign Cinema in 1999 and toured each Halloween for the next five years; selections from this score became Jill Tracy's 2002 album "IN THE LAND OF PHANTOMS".